RPGNow.com
Browse Categories
 Publisher Info













Back
Other comments left for this publisher:
Eldritch Elementalism
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/17/2019 12:26:51

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This supplement clocks in at 31 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of introduction, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 21 pages of content, though, as always for Legendary Games, these are cock-full with content – many other publishers wouldn’t have crammed this much text on a given page.

Okay, so, in a way, this pdf represents partially a player’s option booklet, partially a GM’s toolkit that also is somewhat relevant for players…but in order to explain that, we should take one step at a time.

Upon opening the pdf, we are greeted with something I did not expect, but very much enjoyed: The book presents us with a variety of ecologies for the respective elementals for the 4 core elements. This may sound like a small thing, but to me, text like this helps getting the creative juices going, and indeed, few beings require this little help as much as elementals do…but I’ll get back to what I mean by that later.

For now, let us take a look at the two new archetypes, which both aim to fill a hole in the rules regarding elemental-themed support. The first of these would be the elemental channeler druid archetype, who receives Knowledge (planes) as a class skill and chooses an elemental focus among the 4 core elements. For the focus, the channeler gets a +1 bonus to CL when casting spells with the corresponding descriptor. This also determines the opposing element. The archetype has diminished spellcasting, but gains access to a kineticist’s simple blast associated with the chosen element, with 6th level increasing the range of the blast to 120 ft. – and another ability nets basic aerokinesis for air, geokinesis for earth – you get the idea. The elemental channeler treats the latter as at-will SPs. Nature bond, nature sense and wild empathy are lost for these abilities, though. At 3rd level, the elemental channeler can learn a 1st level utility wild talent associated with the chosen elemental focus, which becomes an at-will SP or SU, depending on the utility wild talent in question. Every 3 levels beyond that yield an additional such utility wild talent, which must be of a level equal to half the elemental channeler’s class level or lower. Instead of being governed by Constitution, they use Wisdom as governing key ability modifier, and instead of accepting burn, they are powered by expending a spell slot of a spell level equal to the wild talent’s level.

The archetype can also choose to learn the element’s defense wild talent, though here, the spell slot expenditure required is equal to the amount of burn accepted. Instead of woodland stride and trackless step, we get different abilities depending on the chosen element. Instead of resist nature’s lure, we have a bonus to spells and effects originating from elemental creatures with the druid’s subtype. A purely cosmetic hiccup: A bit of a sentence here is bolded that shouldn’t be. This does not impede functionality, though. Wild shape is altered to allow the druid to assume elemental form, counting as +2 level for the purpose of assuming the form of the chosen element, but prohibiting her from assuming the form of the opposed elemental. Instead of a thousand faces, the archetype, finally, has an apotheosis to native outsider with the chosen element’s subtype, but sans the immunity/vulnerability, and with the explicit caveat of that not hampering raising from the dead. All in all, an interesting kineticist-y engine tweak for the druid.

The second archetype within would be the elemental witch, who is locked into Elements, light, Mountains, Storms, Water or Winter as patron. The elemental witch chooses a single element to focus on, and the choice is in part determined by the patron chosen, and the elemental witch does not have an opposed element. At 6th level, the witch may choose to gain another elemental supremacy in place of a hex, and she may select several, provided they are allowed by the patron chosen. Subsequent choices after the one at 1st level are treated as witch level minus 5, though. We get custom elemental supremacy effects for each of the elements, and I was surprised to see some interesting angles here – air, for example, allows you to ignore wind effects up to a certain strength, while also providing +2 to Fly, a bonus that increases over the levels. Air descriptor spells get a +1 CL, and the supremacy includes an at-will SP, with 5th, 10th and 20th level providing upgrades in the face of additional SPs and better defensive tricks. This paradigm applies to all of these supremacies, though in different ways. Beyond supremacies aligned with the 4 core elements, we also have a supremacy for cold and storms.

At 4th level or whenever she gains a new hex, the witch may choose Improved Familiar instead, gaining an elemental patron associated with the respective patron. 6th level nets elemental shape, basically a wild shape variant for elemental shapes only. Minor complaint: One reference to elemental body I is not italicized properly. The ability upgrades at 8th, 10th and 12th level, with durations and uses per day increasing per level. The ability replaces the 6th and 12th level abilities. The archetype also may choose from among 8 unique major hexes, which include Augment Summoning elemental summoning, and the option to grant some supremacy benefits to other summoned creatures. We also have a cyclone, a crashing wave that can push targets away, etc. – these are interesting, and, you guessed it, contingent on the patrons chosen. All in all, a nice archetype!

The pdf also contains 5 feats…for elementals! Smothering Grapple is a feat for air and water elementals, and allows an elemental to suffocate grappled targets. Manifest Armaments is an overdue trick for elementals, allowing them to manifest armor and weaponry, with unique benefits depending on the elemental subtype – air elementals have weaker armor, but get scaling miss chances, for example, while earthen armor is better, but bulky, and thus subject to an increased armor check penalty. Improved Manifest Armaments increases the range of the base feat, now allowing for the creation of medium armors and two-handed weaponry, or light and one-handed weapon at once. Cool! Manifest Earthen Bulwark increases DR granted by the armors, and unlocks heavy armor equivalents. (As an aside: The feat is called “Earthen” because it’s earth-exclusive.)

Shape Summons is a key-feat here – it’s not for elementals, but for their summoners, allowing the summoner to apply elemental templates to called elementals. This brings me to the lion’s share of the book’s content, namely what I always wanted – rules-relevant tweaks to diversify elementals, here, in the guise of a plethora of templates that may be applied to elementals. Before you ask, yes, interactions with planar ally et al. are covered, and each of the templates comes with a sample creature, many of which come with actual full-color artworks! One of these fellows you can see on the cover – it’s an air elemental with the CR +1 avian template applied, the “Roc of the Gales.” We also get templates for cephalopod elementals, exemplified in application…by the sky squid! The pdf does contain rules for the CR +2 draconic elemental template (yep, they’re indeed harder than regular elementals…) and, as you could probably deduce from aforementioned Armament feats, there is the humanoid elemental template, which, also at +1, would be a great place to note that the respective sample creatures are NOT just lazy applications of the base template. Instead, e.g. the sample humanoid elemental does make use of the new feats…and has class levels. (As a cosmetic note: The armor class-header is not bolded in the template.) Predatory elementals take the form of hunting animals and beasts, while piscine elementals – bingo, resemble fish…and yes, you can make a piscine fire elemental! Finally, there would also be serpentine elementals – the last three all clock in at CR +1, btw.

However, beyond these roughly creature-shape-themed elemental templates, there is more to be found within: Consuming elementals, at CR +1, can consume the elemental energy, and a kinetic blast-based breath weapon. Speaking of which: The kinetic elemental gets kineticist tricks that improve based on HD. A pleasant surprise for me was the presence of the CR +1 radioactive elemental template, which draws upon the Technology Guide’s radiation rules, with HD governing radiation strength. The sample critter here is particularly neat: We get a consuming radioactive kinetic humanoid earth elemental with invulnerable rager levels! CR 17. You know you want to send this fellow to kick your PC’s behinds! On the more down to earth side, the unbound elemental template at CR +0 represents a more mutable elemental.

Beyond all of these, the pdf also contains two eldritch elementals as a bonus of sorts: The Flamboyant Flame, a CR 13 humanoid fire elemental swashbuckler that masquerades as a graceful efreeti – and yes, we have notes to call this fellow via planar ally. And then there would be the endboss. If your players ever laughed about the notion of a campaign ending in a battle versus an elemental that is not a prince or, well Tharizdunian in theme, here you go: Infernatrox, the Draconic Conflagration, is an advanced draconic mythic fire elemental that clocks in at a cute CR 25/MR 10. AC 47, an ability called “Immortal Flame” that not only has him detonate upon death, but makes it possible for allies to quickly and fully revive the fellow, an ability called “Everything Burns” that bypasses all resistance and immunities of nonmythic targets and also compromises that of mythic beings…and I’m just getting started. An interesting thing about this brutal beast, though, is that it is designed to reward planning and clever PCs. Several abilities have specific means to offset them – yep, mythic characters can, with a clever trick, benefit from resistances and immunities versus his flames. In a way, this is a great build that is both mechanically interesting and a small puzzle of sorts. Really enjoyed this fellow!

Conclusion: Editing is very good on a formal and rules-language level. Formatting sports a few more glitches than what I’m accustomed to see from Legendary Games, but none of them are impediments to grasping the concepts within. Layout adheres to the blue-tinted two-column full-color standard of the reign of Winter-plugins, and the pdf sports quite a few nice full-color artworks. While I had known a few before, I also found several new ones within. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Deborah Kammerzell, Chris van Horn and Jason Nelson have crafted a pdf I frankly did not expect to like. At all. When I read “elemental” on most books, I get this immediate yawn-reflex. I have seen elemental options done so often, and often so well, that I am hard to excite. However, the simple form-templates for elementals in this book really serve a niche: they provide a quick and painless, fun toolkit for the GM to finally make elementals top being so damn boring. If you have ever bemoaned that e.g. no birds of lightning, no fish of fire graced your table, here you have an array of templates that elevates elementals from boring hunks of elemental matter to actually interesting adversaries that get players talking: That eel of lightning sure was creepy, right? Anyhow, if there is a minor weakness here, then that would be that I would have loved to see a few more outré templates for the elementals. Predatory, for example, is a pretty simple one, and not all of them are equally exciting. However, that is me complaining at a high level. The pdf does have its genius moments, and some of the sample elementals indeed go above and beyond.

All in all, this represents a pleasant surprise, and as such, my final verdict will clock in at 5 stars – a super-handy toolkit for GMs, and particularly if you’re too lazy to make all these small templates yourself, a real time-saver. (Plus: Sample critters rock!)

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Eldritch Elementalism
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Kingdoms
by Joseph C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/06/2019 21:20:10

Direct conversion of the Pathfinder Ultimate Campaign rules, by some of the original authors. I was planning on converting this myself, and I am glad that I picked this up instead.

As with the original pathfinder rules, this works best if you fully and carefully run the player's kingdom, but abstract all NPC kingdoms. Handling multiple kingdom turns, calculating advisor modifiers and hexes and structures, etc, for NPC kingdoms, is untenable. I am building a database simply to track all the kingdoms in my game, and it's not a good use of my time (I do it anyone because it's a weird hobby that I enjoy, not because it's actually good for the game).

I expected to go into this and have the same bounded accuracy that one gets in 5e vs Pathfinder, but because Kingdom Checks are very much dependent on non-player modifiers (structures, events, etc etc), the system operates outside the standard 5e math. This makes it very complicated, but it still works (balance wise) because it's a self-contained, separate system.

This system is not in the spirit of 5e, with an emphasis on narrative and simplification, but I enjoy using it.

One thing that is missing in the warfare rules are the rules for conquering territory/taking hexes from other kingdoms. As a DM you will need to adjudicate this on your own.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Kingdoms
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Faerie Bargains
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/04/2019 12:10:50

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This supplement clocks in at 32 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page SRD, 2 pages of introduction, 1 page ToC, ½ a page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 24.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

All right, that out of the way, what are faerie bargains? They are a means to bind a fey unavoidably to the bargain’s terms, and serve as a means to reward the mortal associated with the bargain. As such, they basically represent a reward mechanism that is not tied to gear. Something I generally tend to enjoy, as it helps combat the dreaded Christmas-Tree-syndrome of high-level characters decked out in ridiculous amounts of magic items. A bargain’s terms must be spoken or sung to the mortal in a language that the mortal understands, and magical manipulation of the target is expressively forbidden. The shortest type of faerie bargain lasts for a moon cycle, but most last so long as to make their duration irrelevant for the purpose of a campaign. Each such bargain has, in tradition with real world lore, an escape clause. If a fey is slain, the bargain is undone, but once it returns to life, the bargain is reinstated – considering how fey tend to reincarnate, this means that slaying targets may not be the wisest choice.

Activation of a faerie bargain’s benefits is, unless otherwise noted, a spell-like ability that provokes AoOs. Emulated spells use the character’s level as CL, while those not based on spells use ½ character level for the purpose of determining their potency. Such abilities also default to a standard action to activate. The mechanic base for access to these, should you want one, would be the Faerie Bargainer monster feat, which also represents the mechanics for spontaneous creation of bargains. The Faerie Friend feat lets you make +2 faerie bargains, as well as providing a +2 bonus on Diplomacy and Sense Motive vs. fey. Said bonuses also apply to faerie bargain-related skill checks. The normal cap of faerie bargains per character is btw. 1 + Charisma modifier.

A faerie bargain is codified in a statblock of sorts: They have a CR value and XP rating – this is awarded for fully researching and undoing the faerie bargain. Nice: Novice GMs get a note here that gives carte blanche to prevent XP-cheesing by PCs. Bargains have a magical aura, a payment, and note the faerie creature likely to be able to grant this boon. Some bargains are tied to an object, which is called “token” – these only apply their benefits when the token is worn. And yes, the pdf does codify interaction with AoE effects, sundering et al.

Faerie bargains obviously provide benefits, and have associated skill checks that need to be met to research the existence of such bargains. The DC is stated as a complexity rating, with knowledge points (kp) and milestones provided – in short, we have nice library usage synergy. If you’re familiar with the standard research rules, you’ll know how to use these. The pdf does go beyond that and provides intricate guidelines for GMs to create their own faerie bargains, including a table that correlates temporary and permanent negative levels, conditions that are hard to remove (by e.g. a greater restoration or even only by a wish and analogue power!) with gp values, making sure that WBL guidelines can be properly maintained. Similarly, CR-modifiers are explained and collected, and using faerie bargains as rewards is properly accounted for as well. A handy table that lists them by CR and with their treasure equivalent makes usage of the bargains provided swift and painless, should you be not inclined to make your own, at least from the get-go.

To sum it up: We get a means of rewarding players that is somewhat akin to Mór Games’ emergences, save that its mechanical guidelines are more tightly codified, putting more emphasis on reward structures beyond the roleplaying-relevant context. The faerie bargains, no surprise here, also are themed around fey and mythology.

The lion’s share of the pdf is devoted to a TON of faerie bargains, so even if the DIY-bargain-crafting guidelines do not appeal to you, you’ll get more than enough such bargains to run whole campaigns (yes, plural intended!) featuring them. The intriguing component about them, though, is that they genuinely matter. Faerie bargains are not simply numerical boosts. Getting vermin scent from a mite, grig, gruen etc. will allow you to influence vermin with Handle Animal, for example. It’s also a good example to note the benefits of doing your research prior to jumping into a bargain: In the case of this example, we have a -4 penalty to Perception and Sense Motive versus faerie creatures (deviation from type fey is definitely intended here) and saves versus vermin abilities…and suddenly, we do have a good reason to think twice. The bargain also exemplifies why a PC may want to take this – being able to Handle Animal vermin can be a huge boon for roleplaying, perhaps even a plot point…but it is not a boost that every PC will necessary want to undergo.

And this is EXACTLY how faerie bargains should work. Sure, you can get illusion tutelage from e.g. a nixie – a strand of the fey’s hair, and bam, you can use veil or invisibility thrice before the bargain ends, but become more susceptible to the fey…oh, and talking about how you got the ability ends the bargain! That is a classic trope and considering the curiosity of players, using this one as the aftermath of a 1-on-1 session can make for super interesting interactions. Want to learn some basic magics? Well, you can – you just have to pay with an emotional memory. Since memory and identity are inextricably entwined, this can make for very intriguing roleplaying scenarios as well. With the right bargain, you can deal yourself damage and anoint a rare wood with your blood, creating a lesser simulacrum…but this double may be controlled by the fey. Wanna get out of this bargain? For the low price of handing the fey a child of your species to adopt, you can…

See what I meant regarding the fact that these resonate with real life mythology? For a bit of madness, you can have the blood rage universal monster ability; you can have a frozen heart…and there are some that are downright genius. Rhymer’s truth would be one of these: This bargain strips you of the ability to lie. If you utter a factual statement that may be true, you have a pretty high chance that you can’t finish the sentence. This is frickin’ intrigue gold. If you pay with your shadow, you can make your kingdom (yep, kingdom-building synergy included!) help recover hit points from resting and magical healing! It also improves the benefits of holiday edicts and settlement stats are improved…but the faerie does get a pretty potent ability…namely to assume your form! Once more, the potential is amazing. And yes, there are multiple such bargains included.

With the curse of spilled blood, being reduced below 13 hit points (of course – love this!) targeting attackers with ill omen. Now, I wouldn’t be me sans things to complain about – in hallows of rulership, there is a “See page XXX” reference left. …Yeah, I don’t have much to complain about these bargains. Amazing: Fey Queen’s Ransom will take 20 hexes, with at least 200 BP from your kingdom, replacing it with featureless wasteland…but you do gain your mythic tier and may even pay more to grant this power to allies. This is the stuff tales of villains…or of desperate gambits, are made of.

The pdf does contain more than these bargains – we also get 6 magic items associated with these bargains: A magical cauldron, a green girdle of invincibility that allows you to become the green knight of myth…and yes, the items often are associated with themes of seasonal courts. Did I mention the stone throw of destiny? Yeah, the items feel potent and distinctly fey. The rules provided are precise and tight.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are very good on a formal and rules-language level. Layout adheres to the nice two-column full-color standard of the Kingmaker-plugins, and the pdf features a blend of previously used and new full-color artwork. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

David N. Ross is an author who manages something few designers achieve: He exhibits an impressive mastery and precision regarding the quality of his crunch, and supplements this with thoroughly novel and cool themes. In a more modern parlance: He’s got both A-game math and crunch design skills, and knows how to clad them in roleplaying-relevant components. This is not just a dry collection of numerical boons, it is a true ROLEplaying supplement, one suffused with the themes and tropes of real world mythology, contextualized through the lens of Pathfinder. Moreover, the bargains are pretty much tailor-made to represent things in Kingmaker and allow for unique responses and narrative tricks. Both PCs and GMs are certain to adore these. In case you haven’t noticed: I absolutely ADORE this supplement. It is precise, potent and genuinely intriguing. It is one of those underappreciated gems that folks overlook since it doesn’t explicitly state “here there be magic items” – and honestly, if you have so far skipped this one, get it. It is an inspired little gem of a book.

My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Faerie Bargains
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Legendary Samurai
by What N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/17/2018 17:24:16

I play a lot of 3PP pathfinder material, and have a lot of faith in the author based on previous products. While I haven't had a chance to test this in a game yet, the product is extremely solid, and represents a legitimately better take on a samurai than the alternate version of the cavalier we got from 1PP.

I'll cover the main points as they crop up in the book, as I'm a novice at constructive feedback.

The Class:

It's solid. It has an easy to approach package of abilities, without feeling strict or limited.

Spirit: It has a feature called spirit, a pool which is increased or decreased by your actions in combat. This pool of spirit fuels most of your specialty tricks in combat. Normally, I would be against this, particularly because you always begin a day with no spirit. I'm a point hoarder, and that scares me. However, simply from taking part in a battle, you get spirit by rolling initiative, as well as damaging or taking damage. More ways to get or hold this resource would be nice, but it's a very solid approach.

Browsing over most of the other features, they might seem small at first, but come together to present a very appealing package. Spirit fuels most of their abilities, from challenging foes and the samurai arts, which I'll cover later. They also gain a limited selection of vigilante talents, most of which aren't relevant in most games, but are nice by virtue of being free, and representing their status as a minor celebrity or noble. Most of the abilities you know from the original samurai are here, but function slightly differently by running on spirit and/or being a little more solidly usable. There are a few more features of the class I want to spend some time talking about specifically, though.

Sheath Control: deserves to be called out here as a 1st level ability that will make samurai a worthwhile dip in any 'drawing' character. (I would have liked a feat chain for non samurai to get this.) It is what quick draw should have always been, granting the feat but also allowing you to sheathe a weapon as a free action that can be taken even outside of your turn, thus removing the limitations on quick draw and sheathe builds. This is fantastic, and should have been the way that Quick Draw always worked.

Iajusu techniques are a series of special addons to your iajutsu strikes, and you gain them slowly. They help provide a samurai a number of flavorful and useful sword techniques. Despite being few and far between, I like what most of them have to offer.

Kiai Arts: These are supernatural effects that are represented essentially by shouting louder than the opposition. You receive them all at certain levels, and they almost all require you spending your precious spirit to use. That said, some of the benefits can be very useful, particularly for team-based players by granting your allies bonuses on what they do. Most of the time, this won't cost you actions.

That covers the class, but golly you added a lot more to this, so let's briefly cover

Alternate Class Features & Archetypes:

That's right, they're back. Several smaller-than-archetype packages that can change up your game significantly. Including unarmored packages, switching challenge for favored enemies, and more. It's so refreshing to see these in place of just archetypes. Thank you, and a lot of these are good.

But we're not done swapping things out. The archetypes presented here cover a wide variety of samurai fiction tropes, from the warrior that fights with the help of ancestral spirits, gun use (Why the sword cane pistol exclusively, I ponder? Particularly given how much rifles were beloved by historic samurai,) compatibility with Spheres of Power/Might content, intelligent-sword wielders, and a lot more. Despite some minor qualms, these are fantastic additions and I'm wanting to play one more than ever.

Extra Content

The feats published here are, unsurprisingly focused on the legendary samurai class. Allowing them to function with different ability scores, providing more access to their arts, and so on. Worth mentioning however, is a feat that allows your ancestral and heirloom weapon traits to matter significantly more, and allow you to upgrade and gain a measurable advantage by using your historic weapon. Finally, they've offered an optional feat to help reduce the pain in playing the blind warrior trope of fantasy, and arguably one of the best ones for the cost that I've ever seen.

In addition, you'll find several sidebars addressing concepts like playing a samurai outside of eastern flavored games, handling disabilities and severe injuries, and various clarifications that aren't necessary by any means but I'm grateful to have them as they're well put together and enrich the book as a whole.

Final Thoughts

The Good: The Legendary Samurai takes the idea of the features of the 1PP samurai and delivers them in a flavorful, and fun method. The class looks solid, and almost every option has something significant to offer.

The Bad: I'm mostly looking for small details here. While flavorful and effective, Kiai and Iaijutsu arts feel like more often than not, they'll simply be traded away for other features like Spheres content. I can't help but feel that we'll see the variant samurai more often than the standard. Also, sheath control is fantastic, worth dipping in for anyone using quick draw abilities. I feel like something like a feat chain could have been nice to grab this for other classes, but that falls outside the purview of publishing the samurai, doesn't it? Lastly, spirit, while easy to gain is used for almost every function of the samurai. As someone who hoardes points, I wonder if I'll be more hesitant to spend them on doing things than I should be? This is something I'll have to see in game.

All in all this is another product from Jolly (And some others!) that stands up to the level of balance and excellence I've come to expect from Legendary games. I highly recommend this product, for nearly any kind of game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legendary Samurai
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Planetary Heroes (Starfinder)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/26/2018 19:03:19

I bought this to have some fun pregens for new players. Unfortunately, maybe because this is more of a re-write of a previous product, it seems to suffer from some editing issues. While the character build stats themselves seem solid, the textual background descriptions don't match up. In a quick view, for the first one presented, Anders 6, the stat sheet shows a tactical dueling sword and a tactical semi-auto pistol. In the physical description paragraph, he's described as wielding his ever-present katana (maybe a sword?) and a carbon fiber crossbow (far cry from a pistol). Now let's move on to Girrun Snik. In the physical description, reference is made to flasks of liquid fire and a single thunderstone. Neither of these items are in the character stat sheet. That's as far as I've gotten in the first 30 minutes of ownership, but it's not hard to say that I'm rather disappointed. This seems like it should have been caught by a basic editing pass which obviously wasn't done.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Planetary Heroes (Starfinder)
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Creator Reply:
Thanks for letting us know. I've forwarded your review over to the developer on the book and he's going to take a second look to find any issues like the ones you note above that slipped through. We'll upload a new version once that's available, and any existing customers can download the new copy once it goes up.
Pirate Campaign Compendium (Pathfinder)
by JEROME M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/14/2018 14:42:11

I was a backer for the kickstarter for this book and boy am I glad I joined it! Put simply, this book contains everything you need to run pirate or naval based campaigns. You get rules, a pirate codex, bestiaries, both normal and mythic, rules for ship to ship combat, rules for mass naval combat, adventures, spells, magic items and so much more.

There's too much content to cover concisely here. Just read the description above. All of that stuff is indeed trapped between these pages. This book is a compilation of previously published and playtested material combined with all new content. If you're one of those whackadoos that only reads reviews filled with negatives, then dig up the reviews for all of the individual parts and you'll find there are very few complaints.

The hardback is gorgeous and will look great on your shelf or in your hands for years to come. If you are running the classic pirate adventure path from Paizo or just running a pirate campaign at home, then this book is a must-buy!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Pirate Campaign Compendium (Pathfinder)
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

The Smuggler's Seal
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/29/2018 13:42:34

An Endzeitgeist.com review

The second of the 1-on-1 adventure modules that can act as an optional introduction to Curse of the Crimson Throne clocks in at 48 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of introduction, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with a total of 38 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

This review was moved up in my queue at the request of one of my patreons.

Well, first things first: This can be run as a direct sequel to the excellent “Orphans of the Hanged Man”, but it does not necessarily require that you have finished its prequel. The module does come with a full and proper array of player-friendly full-color maps. It is intended for a character of 2nd level, and the adventure comes with a new CR 1 monster, the scroll sentinel,, which is an excellent example for how damn good Legendary Games’ monster design continues to be: The creature has a cool Achilles’ hell and several unique abilities – and it does come with its own illustration. Rather cool!! A pregen is also included in the deal.

Scaling information for 3rd level are included for your convenience, and the module sports copious amounts of read-aloud text to help you evoke a concise atmosphere, including different introductory angles if the PC hasn’t played “Orphans of the Hanged Man.”

This being an adventure-review, the following contains copious amounts of SPOILERS. Potential players should jump ahead to the conclusion.

..

.

All right, only GMs around? Great! So, the old master thief, alas, finally passes away from old age; however, the Pc being his heir of sorts, does receive a letter that passes the valuable city properties one alias of the Hanged Man had, to the PC. A trip to a helpful forger later, and the PC only has a simple task ahead – slipping these forgeries into the city archives! The set-up for the region where the archives are located is pretty nice, providing benefits and notes for PCs doing their proper legwork casing the joint. No less than 6 (!!!) means of ingress are provided with notes on the checks and things required to get in, and the staff is similarly associated in detail with the default NPC arrays. The vault itself is also impressive, for example regarding monster choice: Pyraustas can be found (though the color of the letters of their header is black when it should be white in one of the rare formatting glitches), a bronze asp (fully statted, templated iron cobra) - and traps.

All of these have something in common that I hope to see in PF 2, when it comes, more often: They can be resolved via ROLEplaying, not just by rolling the dice; indeed, that’s the preferred method! The bronze asp has a particular program that allows for full bypassing, the traps can be turned off or avoided by clever PCs – brute-forcing is always possible, yes, but it’s so much more rewarding to do this the clever way. This heist, by the way, is only the first part of this adventure!

Having secured the inheritance, the PC gets an offer from aforementioned forger to building a smuggler’s network – once more, clever observation, with degrees of success and various different means, allows the PCs to recruit, in one way or another, a variety of colorful characters – by free will or coercion. A ragpicker savant ghoststory teller, grindylows (good if you treated them well in Oprhans…), a philandering customs agent and more all can be found – this is basically a “getting the gang together” type of scenario.

However, things don’t end with the smuggling operation – a rival, a very powerful foe, Jaylin Rinegold, has the warehouse seized…and the last man to cross Ms. Rinegold did not fare well. Some inquiries will point the PC to an alchemist, and then, well, it’ll take the application of both the short-lived alchemical brews, marker dye to counter invisible threats, and the skills acquired so far to make it through Rinegold’s mansion: A schedule and reconnaissance details are included, and a guards and wards spells that confuses targets, shrouds doors and cloaks the hallways in mist makes for a super-exciting high-stakes infiltration. Arcane locked doors and those covered by illusions are appropriately noted with glyphs on the GM map for easy and convenient reference. The hands of the former thief that informed the PC btw. still tip toe as crawling claws through the house, making for an interesting souvenir for the poor man. The infiltration here is not piece of cake – the final boss may just be an imp (convenient silver provided nearby…), but a final and pretty challenging effect of the global enchantment can have important information slip through the PC’s grasp…and here, the ministerial seal can be found, allowing for the end of the blockade of all those delightful goods, ending the module with the PC having established themselves as a force to be reckoned with.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are very good on a formal and rules-language level, I noticed no serious hiccups. Layout adheres to the two-column full-color standard of the Curse of the Crimson Throne plugins, and the pdf comes with nice full-color artworks. The cartography is in full-color as well and features player-friendly versions – big plus! The adventure comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Michael Allen and Matt Goodall provide a glorious one-on-one adventure in this offering: “The Smuggler’s Seal” continues to teach the PC to be smart, observant and provides for plenty of different solutions for the problems faced. The learning process is palpable, and the adventure covers a surprising amount of ground, offering more bang for your buck than you’d imagine. I estimate that this could cover up to 8 or 10 full sessions if you take your time with roleplaying conversations, and few players will finish it in under 4 sessions. This has a ton of material to offer and does the heist genre and its various tropes exceedingly well. So well, in fact, that I really wish for the style to continue. It’s not just the challenges or details – it’s the freedom to tackle problems in different ways, the rewarding of roleplaying over simple good die-rolls, that makes this so fun and exciting. This is a worthy sequel to the excellent predecessor and probably manages to exceed its appeal even. If you’re looking for an excellent heist-y module, look not further! As an aside, while it may require lower level PCs and some tinkering with the challenges, I can see this warrant being used for a group as well. It’s that interesting. This receives 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Smuggler's Seal
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Royal Tournaments
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/04/2018 07:44:52

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This supplement clocks in at 44 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 2 pages of introduction, 1 page ToC, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 35 pages of content, which, as always with Legendary Games, manages to cram quite a lot of text on each page, so let’s take a look!

It is an interesting observation for serious students of history, whether professional or amateur, when one discovers the extent to which religious and regular festivals have shaped the course of life for literally thousands of years; while we tend to glamorize the iconic knight tournaments and jousting, the fact is that both combat challenges and religious festivals have had a huge impact on daily life in ages past, perhaps to an extent that surpasses what we nowadays can experience in festivals and the like. Religious festivals in particular have shaped the experience of the middle ages to a much more significant degree than most folks realize.

It is interesting to note, then, that tournaments and the like, as important as they are, only rarely feature prominently within the context of roleplaying games. While I do know of a few modules featuring festivals as backdrops, there isn’t that much material out there to create them yourself. This pdf, which should come as no surprise, seeks to remedy that. We begin by establishing festival size and mechanical impacts of these on the game – whether it’s the GP-limit or, if you’re using Ultimate Rulership (which you should!), the basics are provided in detail. If you don’t have the festival edict rules from that book, fret not, btw. – they are included in the back.

The pdf provides the rules for navigating the throng of the crowds and finding particular locales next – and these take cost of living status into account: rich folks have an easier time finding exclusive places.

Tournaments are more than entertainment, though, and indeed were a place of politicking, where fortunes could be made or lost – as such, the pdf provides synergy with various subsystems from honor to relationships, without necessarily requiring them. The right seating and lodging can make a difference on the localized fame or infamy the PCs have; this value is known as renown and based on honor or reputation, with the starting value being the sum, divided by 10. Big plus: In the absence of these subsystems, there is another way to calculate this value – you can use them all in conjunction, but you don’t have to! Using magic to create illusory splendor, winning the “king of the hill” spot in the lottery and the like are all discussed.

In advertisement, there is the saying that promotion’s everything – and this held true back in the day as well, with 5 sample promotions and associated skills and special effects accounted for. The pdf also discusses differences in magic saturation – how a gritty, low-fantasy foot-race may well become a teleportation-contest in a high-fantasy game, for example – it’s nice to see such concerns spelled out. Speaking of which: For as long as there have been games of chance and contests, there have been attempts to cheat. The supplement proceeds to discuss on how to quickly and easily assert attitudes towards cheating, and using background checks in conjunction with the fair is similarly discussed.

These basics out of the way, we move on to the section aptly titled “Rural Delights” – here, we are introduced to 5 minigames, ranging from caterpillar eating, rope swing and jump to squirrel racing and whittling. These have in common that their rules are tightly presented, easy to grasp…and the contests are quickly resolved, preventing boredom at the table. Furthermore, we get two potential complications per such contest. Obviously, eating and drinking contests as well as jumping events have been included as well, though these do get their own dedicated sections, differentiating between different contests within. The racing event section also deserves special mention, with sprints, endurance races, relays, steeple chases and riding or swimming races covered in detail. A minor note of complaint: It would have been awesome to see a flying race rule-array as well, though it’s easy enough to extrapolate from the concisely-presented rules here.

Tests of strength, from Scottish caber tossing, distance throwing, tug-o-war, weightlifting – quite impressive array, with simple and quick to play rules. The pdf also features rules for mock battles (performance combat synergy provided): We get easy to grasp jousting rules that take actual mounted combat prowess into account (yep, those fellows will be better than characters who don’t have feats pertaining mounted combat), and resolution is explained in a tight manner. The special considerations of fantastic settings are taken into account, mentioning the potential for vertical jousts or aquatic or aerial variants. 7 sample competitors are provided for the GM here. Target shooting and unarmed combat events are presented in a similarly tight manner: The latter actually provides rules for boxing, wrestling and even sumo! Scoring is noted and the respective unarmed combats actually have a strategic element: In a boxing match, it makes a difference whether you try for a combination or a head butt. As an interesting note: I can see these rules fitting regular unarmed combat just as well, making that aspect of the game more interesting.

Speaking of which: if that sounded to mundane for your tastes: What about a variety of distinctly fantastic minigames/festival events? The pillars of life and death is about using positive and negative energy to capture pillars conductive to these energy forms! I can see this work great as a means in a neutral (or sufficiently cosmopolitan) society to deal with disputes between churches, for example – sample contestants and cheating methods are provided, fyi. Magical shooting galleries with magic-powered wind, hacking through logs as fast as possible or fighting magical creatures in a kind of illusion-powered endurance combat are provided as well. What about retrieving gems from a 60 ft. pole…or the half-fiendish nightmare assassin who relishes in humiliating would-be jousters, ruining their reputation before killing them? (Yep, the latter comes with full stats, and sample competitors are provided for the contests, where applicable.) The pdf then ends this discussion with renown gathered designating their overall performance – and yes, the PCs could theoretically get a company with Ultimate Battle synergy.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no glitches or issues on a formal or rules-language level. Layout adheres to a two-column full-color standard and sports some amazing full-color artworks I haven’t seen before. The pdf comes fully bookmarked with nested bookmarks for your convenience.

Jason Nelson and Mike Welham provide a truly amazing supplement here: Royal tournaments fills a criminally neglected niche in the game, and does so with panache aplomb. The various rules within take the extensive array of subsystems into account without requiring them; the presentation is easy to grasp, and implementing the rules within is next to no work on the GM. The various minigames and events are characterized by being quickly resolved, preventing boredom, though expansion always remains a distinct possibility. If anything, this book, like a good festival or tournament, ended with a somber note for me – I didn’t want this book to end and wished it was even longer! There are few books that manage to elicit this kind of response to this degree. The effortless simplicity of the rules for the contests and games is deceptive, as anyone who has attempted to design such minigames themselves can attest to. Personally, I will combine this one with Everyman Gaming’s superb Skill Challenge Handbook, the latter helping with team-challenges.

So yeah, Royal Tournaments succeeds with a grace befitting of the “royal” moniker at its chosen task; it represents an amazing toolkit for the GM and should be considered to be a must-own supplement. Heck, even if you’re not interested in running a tournament, this is worth getting. Why? Because all of these mini-games are one reskinning away from working as puzzle-challenges or weird obstacles in the dungeon of your choice! This book thus manages to surpass its designated design goal by leaps and bounds and represents, even in Legendary Games’ extensive canon of excellent books, one of my all-time favorite supplements. As such, this is well worth a final verdict of 5 stars + my seal of approval, and this also qualifies as a candidate for my Top ten of 2018. This is pure gold and belongs in any GM’s toolbox.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Royal Tournaments
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Legendary Shifters
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/01/2018 04:59:43

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This player-facing class book/class redesign clocks in at 32 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page introduction, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 24 pages of content, though it should be noted that, as always, legendary Games has stuffed a TON of content within these pages, so let’s take a look!

Wait. Before we do, I need to fully disclose one fact. To say that I don’t like the shifter class would be a frickin’ understatement. After all the shapeshifting classes I’ve reviewed, the class was the blandest, more bring implementation of the concept I could possibly fathom. It’s one of my least favorite PFRPG classes released by Paizo, and coming from the amazing Occult classes and the similarly awesome vigilante, it was a huge disappointment for me. It’s a dedicated shifter class that’s less flexible than one that gets shifting as a bonus. And don’t get me started on the lack of actually unique things it can do. I wasn’t alone in that, so let’s see if the class redesign by Legendary Games actually manages to make the shifter interesting.

The legendary shifter base class gets d10 HD, 4 + Int skills per level, proficiency with simple and martial weapons as well as natural attacks gained from class features, and light and medium armors and shields, excluding tower shields. The class may take Sylvan as a bonus language, as well as Aklo, and they speak Druidic as a free language. Nice touch there! Chassis-wise, the legendary shifter gets full BAB-progression as well as good Fort- and Ref-saves.

Now, the basic shifting engine has been changed rather drastically: At 1st level, you choose a shifter’s aspect, and entering it is a swift action; ending the effect is a free action. Forms may be switched as a swift action and the aspect may be maintained indefinitely. Until 9th level, when chimeric aspect is gained, only one form at a time may be maintained. 14th level nets greater chimeric aspect – three aspects and related forms. The shift is NOT a polymorph effect. A new aspect is gained at 5th level and every 4 levels thereafter. Unless I have miscounted, 19 different aspects are provided and provide minor benefits that often actually manage to be interesting. I have no balance-concerns with them, as the form’s usefulness and the benefits gained correlate in smart ways: While a mouse aspect may generally suck a bit, gaining evasion does make it quite tantalizing now, doesn’t it? Also at first level, we’d have shifter’s shape, which allows for the assumptions of badger, bird, camel, cat (small), dire rat, dog. Dolphin, horse, manta ray, pony, viper, constrictor snake or wolf forms, analogue to beast shape I. However, it lasts for class level + Wisdom modifier hours, min 1, and the duration may be split, but only in 1-hour increments. Changing form in this shape may be used ½ class level + Wisdom modifier times sans penalty; beyond that, it reduces the total allotment of duration remaining by 1 hour. This is treated as wild shape, but the shifter lsoes the ability to communicate while in the. 3rd level unlocks all beast shape I forms, 6th level allows for the assuming of Large and Tiny and beast shape II forms. 8th level allows for the assumption of Huge or Diminutive animal form, or that of a Small or Medium (not capitalized properly) magical beast; the ability is upgraded to beast shape III. 12th level upgrades that further to beast shape IV, and unlocks Tiny and Large magical beasts; 16th level unlocks Diminutive and Huge magical beasts and makes the ability behave as magical beast shape. 6th level hastens shifter shape to a move action that does not provoke AoOs. 10th level upgrades this to optionally use as a swift action, and 18th level allows for the use of shifting as an immediate action.

The class also begins play with wild empathy and shifter evolution: This lets the shifter, as a swit action. Grow claws and a set of fangs – these are (HUGE kudos!) properly codified both regarding damage type and precise nature of the natural attacks. These start with the ability to bypass DR/magic and begin bypassing DR/cold iron and DR /Silver at 3rd level, with 7th level making them behave as ghost touch. 15th level lets the shifter ignore DR/adamantine and 19th level even DR/- - ouch! These benefits also extend to natural attacks conferred by polymorph effects and the synergy of natural attacks and those she can grow is properly codified. Damage dice of the shifter evolution natural attacks increases from 1d6 to 2d10 over the course of the 20 levels of the class. As you can glean, this makes shifters at low levels pretty dangerous, considering that we’re looking at 3 primary natural attacks. For very conservative games, this may prove slightly problematic, though in such a case, I’d simply advise in making the damage default to the standard for the natural attacks and rendering claws or bite, depending on low power level sought, secondary instead. Most games will not encounter a problem here.

At 2nd level, the shifter gets track and adds Wisdom modifier to AC and CMD, or half as much when also wearing armor or using a shield; 4th level and every 4 levels thereafter increase this by +1. 3rd level nets woodland stride; 4th level and every 4 levels thereafter yield a wild shape based bonus feat; 5th level nets trackless step. The capstone nets shifter shape at will and nets shapechanger apotheosis, becoming immunity to transmutation effects unless willing to accept them.

The pdf also provides a wide array of different archetypes, 12, to be precise. Bound beastmasters get an animal companion and instead apply shifter evolution benefits to the companion’s attacks instead. The Wis-bonus to defense is lost in favor of the companion sharing in aspects, and instead of chimeric aspect and its greater version, we have the option to have the companion also assume shifts, but the form taken must be that of the legendary shifter. The dragon touched is an archetype I would not allow in more conservative games, as the claws gained from shifter evolution are replaced with a 15 ft.-cone or 30 ft.-line breath weapons that deals 1d8 + class level damage of the chosen energy type corresponding to the dragon blood; the damage increases by +1d8 at 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter, and there is no limit imposed on it. It won’t break the game for most groups, but unlimited AoO energy damage can be pretty potent. Personally, I’d have imposed a hard cap for the low levels here and then delimited that at higher levels. Instead of shifter aspect, the archetype begins with low-light vision and gains progressively better draconic traits. Unsurprisingly, the shifter shape is completely changed to instead provide the ability to assume draconic forms. Similarly, the chimeric aspect and capstone are modified.

The elemental nexus chooses a chosen element’s basic utility wild talent as well as a kinetic blast wild talent, with full damage progression as though shifter levels equaled kineticist levels. Additionally, we get the kinetic fist form infusion at 0 burn cost and Improved Unarmed Strike. The blast may only be used in conjunction with kinetic fist and replaces shifter evolution. 1st level and every 4 levels thereafter net a utility wild talent, and Wisdom modifier times per day, the archetype may lower the burn cost of a wild talent by 1. This replaces shifter aspect. As a nitpick here: The reduction should imho only work for utility wild talents granted by this archetype; otherwise the option is a bit too dippable for my tastes. Instead of the Wisdom boost, we get elemental defense at 2nd level, being treated as having accepted 1 burn. 5th level and every 3 levels thereafter, the archetype is treated as having accepted 1 more burn. Bonus feats allow for kineticist tricks and 5th level unlocks elemental forms via the modified version of shifter shape. 9th and 14th level provide expanded element instead of the chimeric aspect abilities.

The fairy shifter has HD reduced to d8 and only ¾ BAB-progression, but gains the hunter’s spellcasting progression, but draws spells from druid and ranger lists, using Charisma as governing spellcasting attribute. Kudos: Spell overlap between spell lists is noted. Unsurprisingly, this one then proceeds to codify shifter shape in the fey form direction. Instead of the Wis-boost, these folks use Charisma to bolster their defenses and extend that to flat-footed. The capstone is similarly modified. The Giant shifter replaces claws with slams, and bingo, does what it says on the tin. Lycanthropic warriors are limited regarding their aspects, but get scaling DRs instead of the Wisdom boost and they begin play with hybrid form availability – nice tweak and easily multiclassed one. Metamorphic genius has d8 HD and 3/4 BAB-progression. The archetype also gets the infusion discovery and alchemy instead of shifter aspect and the chimeric abilities; extract levels of shapeshifting tricks are reduced by 1 and it also comes with some flexibility. These also get a longer duration and Int is a governing attribute here. In the absence of shifting, quicker extract imbibing (only of those noted by the archetype) maintains the action economy of the base class.

As a huge fan of the Dark Souls games and the classic monster, I smiled broadly when reading the Mimickin - you get Disguise as a class skill and the archetype nets scaling mimic shapes…and yes, this means grab and swallow whole at higher levels. Oh, and multiple mimickin can form larger objects! Oh, and they get to move stealthily. As a fan of the Prey game and Dark Souls, this one really rocked my world. And before you’re asking: The 3 new object form spells within are what makes this work.

These is a mini-engine tweak/micro-archetype that exchanges trackless step and bonus feats for a ranger’s spellcasting. Necromorphs are a cool thematic undead/undead-controlling type of shifter that can maintain multiple gentle repose effects and Hide in Plain Sight in dim light at 5th level. One of the cooler theme-archetypes; no Dead Space-y stuff, though. Speaking of which: Oozeling. It’s the single best ooze-style class option I’ve seen in a long while. Compression from level 1 and some potent defenses, as well as a more complex natural weapon table made me smile. Protean masters would be the inevitable unchained eidolon archetype. Surprisingly, all eidolon subtypes are unlocked – I kinda expected these to unlock over the levels, but limited evolution points keep this in check. Higher levels provide more flexibility here.

The pdf also includes a new 10-level PrC, the Polymorph Savant, who needs the Basic Alteration feat (one of the feats within – unlocks speaking and behaves like alter self) as well as shifter shape and a BAB of +5. The PrC has ¾ BAB-progression and ½ Fort- and Ref-save progression, 4 + Int skills per level and d8 HD. The PrC adds class levels to legendary shifter regarding the effects of class features and gets the ability to assume Tiny, Small, Medium or Large insect shapes, as per vermin shape II. 2nd level adds ghost touch to shifter evolutions, with 6th level making the attacks count as aligned, 10th providing the adamantine bypassing. At 2nd level, being under shifter shape nets uncanny dodge and evasion. 3rd level unlocks Diminutive, Tiny, Small, Medium, large or Huge monstrous humanoids; 4th level and 8th net a bonus feat, 5th nets fey shapes – get it? Yep, the progression is pretty close to the base class, and instead of specializing provides basically the jack-of-all-trades shifter.

Now, the feats within allow shifter to retain combat power while Tiny or smaller sans being crippled; Animal Spirit makes you use Charisma as governing attribute; Bestial Roots allows archetypes that trade this in to gain animal shapes (but not the magical beast shapes of the base class); Morphic Berserker is a legendary shifter/barbarian crossover feat, and Morphic Lyricist and Morphic Stalker represent the multiclass facilitators for bards and slayer, respectively. The pdf concludes after aforementioned spells with Ines, a beautifully illustrated and well-written, fun NPC – Ines is overflowing with love, raised by fey and comes with a cool boon. Two thumbs up for the cool NPC!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good on both a formal and rules language level. Layout adheres to Legendary Games’ two-column full-color standard and the pdf comes with a blend of previously used and new full-color artworks. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Siobhan Bjorknas and N. Jolly deliver a huge improvement over the standard shifter here. Honestly, just forget about the base class and use this one instead. The legendary shifter is, at least in my book, preferable in pretty much every way – this class does the dedicated shapeshifter, the one based on the magic-chassis, as well as you can probably do the concept. Heck, while a lot of this pdf delivered pretty much exactly what I expected to find, it actually managed to surprise me in a positive way, in a book that I honestly expected to bore me to tears. The oozeling and mimickin, in particular, made me smile a really devilish grin. So yeah, this is a very good book. There are a few components where I’d have preferred a tad bit more nuance, but that’s me complaining at a very high level. As such, my final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up, since given the design goal, this is probably as close to excellent as the shifter without divorcing it from core-engines, is ever likely to get.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legendary Shifters
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Legendary Gunslingers
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/12/2018 05:18:10

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the player-centric/class redesign books clocks in at 38 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of introduction, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 27 pages of content – as always for Legendary Games, these pages are packed with materials, so rest assured that there’s a LOT of content within!

Now, I’ve been pretty vocal about the copious issues that the gunslinger class has, so let’s start with the big selling point of this pdf – the Legendary Gunslinger base class. Now, in an interesting aside, the pdf already shows a level of care absent from many comparable files: The class table does come with a short note that allows groups that do not operate under the assumption of firearms targeting touch AC to make full use of it. It’s a small thing, but it’s the kind of “going the extra mile”-mentality I really appreciate.

Now, let’s take a look at the chassis: Legendary Gunslingers are proficient with simple and martial weapons as well as with all firearms and light armor, get d8 HD, and thank the 7 heavens, they actually get SKILLS. 6 + Int mod per level. And yes, these include Swashbuckling staples like Acrobatics, Bluff, Swim, Stealth, etc. The chassis of the class is also interesting in that it implements a change I have always been pretty vocal about: The gunslinger does NOT need full BAB; targeting touch AC for the most part makes math wonky at high levels for full BAB characters. Thus, the legendary gunslinger gets ¾ BAB-progression as well as good Fort- and Ref-saves.

The legendary gunslinger gets a blunderbuss, musket or pistol at first level and this weapon may only be sold for scrap; other creatures treat it as broken. We also get Gunsmithing, however, ammo etc. may be crafted for 1% of the base price. This means that legendary gunslingers no longer break the bank of really gritty low level groups. Also at first level, the legendary gunslinger gets to add Dex-mod to firearm damage, though this bonus damage caps at class level until 5th level. (this ability is called “gun training”, fyi.) Additionally, misfire values are reduced by 1 to a minimum of 0, and broken firearms only increase misfire values by 2, not by 4. Grit is still governed by Wisdom modifier (minimum 1). A really big plus here would be that the legendary gunslinger’s grit-recharge mechanics allow for the regaining of grit via successful saving throws. And before you ask: YES, this is utterly and remarkable cheesing-proof. No chance to abuse it whatsoever. Big kudos!

At 2nd level, we get +1/2 class level to Perception, and choose two Int or Cha-based skills and use Wisdom instead as governing attribute. With the skill-array, this makes gunslinger faces very much possible. Nice! Also at second level, we get a significant alteration as far as design paradigms are concerned: We get the first so-called gun mastery, with every 3 levels thereafter granting another one. Yes, this means what you think it means: The class, finally, actually has meaningful player-agenda and build-diversification built straight into its chassis. Some deeds have been transformed into gun mastery and now require a conscious decision to get – like Charging Shot, or Counter Shot. As an aside: The latter now actually is balanced by the alterations of the gunslinging chassis in a more meaningful and exciting manner. The placement of these masteries as far as minimum levels are concerned btw. makes sense. A particular joy, at least for me, would have been to see that improved and expanded targeting add to the targeting deed. And yes, you can get renown! The gun masteries presented are extensive, interesting and yielded no issues in my tests.

3rd level yields uncanny dodge, and 13th level improved uncanny dodge…while also providing the deed mechanic! So yes, legendary gunslingers still retain basic deed functionality; it’s still very hard to make a truly sucky character with the engine proposed, and the choices that are still automatically granted thus make sense. 7th, 11th, 15th and 19th level unlock new deeds in this linear progression. 4th level nets nimble (improving it by +1 every 4 levels thereafter) and combat grit: This nets you a temporary grit point whenever you roll initiative. This does have a cooldown and can’t be cheesed, while making sure that you always have at least something to do. 5th level lets you spend 1 grit as a swift action for +1 to atk and damage for 1 minute, with the bonus increasing by +1 at 10th level and every 5 levels thereafter. 6th level nets the skill unlock of a Dex or Wisdom based skill (including ones where the gunslinger may have substituted Wisdom for Cha or Int), and 6th level allows for a grit-based reroll of Dex-or Wis-based skill checks. This improves at 17th level. 7th level nets evasion, 16th improved evasion. True grit is the capstone. We also get two alternate favored class options for all races: +1/6 gun mastery or +1/5 combat grit.

The pdf includes no less than 15 different archetypes for this class, so let’s take a look at what we get, shall we? The alchemical hotshot loses deeds, but does get alchemy at minus 1 extract per level and is Int-based; the massive key feature here would be that the archetype learns metallurgy, which has two benefits per entry: One is the special type of bullet, and one allows for a firearm made from the material. Lead, for example, can temporarily lower SR, while copper bullets can prevent targets from attacking the alchemical hotshot. And yes, you get to go Golden Gun at higher levels; heck, you even get a platinum gun!! The archetype pays for this flexibility by losing some of the spontaneous tricks – it is Int-based, so requiring a bit more deliberate planning is perfectly in line with the concept here. Damn cool. The anthem gunner is basically a bard lite/legendary gunslinger hybrid that is Charisma-based and as such, has a lot of its class features tweaked accordingly. The black flag bandit is locked into pistols and represents a pistol + blade/siege weapon specialist. They can make siege weapons require smaller crews, which, in some campaigns, can be super cool.

The bullet wizard once more would be an Intelligence-based archetype, using the starting weapon as a bonded object and gaining a magus’ spellbook. The archetype makes delivering spells via bullets work (this is pretty hard) and may, at higher levels, expend spellslots to fire energy blasts from the weapon. This made me smile, for it does resemble to a degree the concept I implemented in my own etherslinger class, though obviously with a different base spellcasting engine. Nice job!! Don’t like firearms in your game? Take a look at the crossbow killer archetype. Big kudos: This fellow does come with a bit of advice regarding multi-archetyping it. The Demolition soldier is locked into a pistol and gets scaling bombs. Nice. The faded stranger is the faceless guy that folks may forget about after meeting them, the subtle infiltrator – I liked this one, though I did wish it had a silencer-style ability baked into its rules. The firearm striker is an unarmed/gun-fu-ish specialist that blends unarmed strikes and firearms. This is traditionally either really bad or really broken – this is neither, though it probably would have made for a viable class hack. The option to follow firearm shots with unarmed strikes, including movement, is interesting.

The living turret gets a culverin and may enter a special stance as a move action, improving defenses and counting as supported. Interesting: This does offer some tanking capabilities. Cool engine tweak! The muzzle roarer is one of the big archetypes: Born under a really bad sign, these guys may neither be good, nor lawful, and they must serve an evil patron deity or entity akin to demon lords, horsemen of the apocalypse or Great Old Ones. They have slightly less skill points per level, but do get an oracle curse, with additional spells codified as limited use SPs instead. With a Rovagug-y theme, they can shatter inanimate objects. They also may choose ninja tricks and rogue talents instead of gun masteries – and yes, grit is employed instead of ki, where applicable. Their firearms become particularly loud, making noticing them easier, and they may use grit to duplicate magical sonic based effects. Finally, the archetype gets a couple of nice, or rather, unpleasant evil deeds.

The pale slinger replaces nimble with an aura of misfortune, from which she may exempt allies, and hexes and hex/shot synergy are neat. I also enjoyed the unique benefit that prevents rerolls in the auras of higher level pale slingers. Rather cool one! Rumslingers only recover grit by drinking alcohol, replaces nimble with a synergy trick for Fort-bonuses to resist poison by imbibing alchemical fire. 2 unique deeds and a really evocative capstone complement this interesting engine tweak. Sky riders replace the resolve ability sequence and slinger’s quirk with a bird animal companion. The archetype also gets wild empathy and upgrades for monstrous mounts later. Solemn travelers may not be true neutral and instead get an alignment-themed cavalier mount, with later detect-SPs added. Judgments and an aura that penalizes fear-saves and negates fear immunity complement this one. Finally, there would be the technological shootist as the final archetype – you guessed it: This fellow would be the Tech Guide engine tweak for the Legendary Gunslinger. Nice one!

The feats within the book number 6 – Deed Specialization nets +2 DC for a deed’s save DC. Extra Gun Mastery nets, bingo, a gun mastery. For Demon-Haunted Drifter, you need an eidolon and may instantly call forth the eidolon or lesser evolution surge it via grit, which is cool. Kudos: Notes for use are provided for gamers with less system mastery. Guns Out of the Grave takes up almost a whole page and is a feat that is only available for the undead. The feat nets you rejuvenation while you have at least 1 grit, and the feat nets special abilities depending on the HD of the user of the feat. Obviously intended for NPCs, this makes for a truly fearsome feat for the undead, allowing the undead to call their weapons back. I’d obviously strongly advise against making this one available for PCs in all but the most potent (or apocalyptic) of campaigns. Whiskey-Soaked Drifter is once more a HUGE feat, one that makes the character basically an alcoholic, but allows for temporary grit gains via drinking alcohol. Minor nitpick: There is a reference to “grit” that should refer to “drunken grit” instead, making the second paragraph here slightly confusing. This feat is one I really like in theme, though the execution will not be for all groups. Since this reliably delimits grit, it requires some mature handling by player and GM alike. The Winter-Hearted Drifter feat is one that makes you an arctic specialist/one associated with entities of cold/etc., providing synergy with the Winter Shade of the Umbral Wood feat. While high-concept, these long-form feats do need a bit more careful consideration than the rest of the pdf.

There also is a page of nice firearm modifications – 8 to be precise. And yes, thank all 7 heavens, a silencer’s included. Gunslingers can now, you know, not insta-break any infiltration scenario. Huge kudos. The pdf also includes two magic items, the farsight duster that enhances range-increments and the lore bullet, which, while kept on the person of someone with deeds for 24 hours, nets the gun mastery inscribed within. There is a hard limit on how many of these you may carry. The pdf ends with a cool NPC, Theresa Diaz. She and her lover were enslaved by Nigredo, a neurokineticist and brother of Theresa’s lover, who had a …weird way of showing affection. Theresa now is looking for Hannah, lost somewhere out there. Nice way of tying stories together. And yes, we get a proper boon for this CR 7 lady.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are excellent on a rules-language level; on a formal level, the pdf is similarly precise, though I did notice a couple of installments of bolding missing. Layout adheres to the 2-column full-color standard of the series, with artworks being a blend of old and new full-color pieces. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

N. Jolly, Jason Nelson, Clinton J. Boomer, Robert Brookes and Alex Augunas know what they’re doing. Siobhan Bjorknas, Blake Morton, Hal Kennette and Jason Nelson in development did definitely polish this to a shine.

So…ähem…you know, the longform feats…I’d have preferred them in a Legendary Villains installment. Öhm. Yeah. Those firearm mods? More would have been cool. Öhm. Yeah.

Who am I kidding?? This is the masterclass gunslinger that I always wanted. Meaningful differentiation, sensible design decisions that are grounded on a deep understanding of rules and obvious playtesting, high-concept options and an all around better playing experience? HECK YES. This is what the gunslinger always was supposed to be. It’s a rewarding, evocative, fun class that does pretty much everything resoundingly right, with the minor manabar-y combat grit making for a bold and cool engine-change. Add to that the skills, the expert ways to prevent abuse, and we have a masterpiece of a class redesign. My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval. Oh, and since I only got around to reviewing this right now, this is definitely a candidate for this year’s top ten. A must-own offering for any group including gunslinging – get it and never look back.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legendary Gunslingers
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Mythic Monsters #49: South Pacific
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/24/2018 13:43:15

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Mythic Monsters-series clocks in at 32 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of introduction, 2 pages of SRD, 3 pages of advertisement, 1 page inside of back cover, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 18 pages, chock-full with content, so let’s take a look!

This installment of the Mythic Monsters series begins with supplemental content, here in the shape of a total of 7 different magic items, three of which are magical boomerangs: The ricochet boomerang is obviously returning (like the other two) and allows the wielder to make an attack as a standard action at -2 to atk; if the attack hits, the wielder can select a second target within 10 ft. and may even bounce this way past cover, managing to get the complex verbiage done right. Mythic wielders suffer from less penalties for this type of attack and mythic power can be used to make full attacks with bouncing, allowing you to potentially bypass hard terrain etc. – impressive. The clever boomerang can execute at-range trips and within 30 ft., can be used to feint. In the hands of mythic wielders, the weapon can execute more potent combat maneuvers and use mythic power to snatch disarmed or stolen objects. So cool! The third boomerang would be the bloody boomerang, gaining an extended threat range that causes Constitution damage and bleeding damage that stacks with itself and other sources of bleed damage. The mythic wielder can use mythic power to bestow the keen property for tier rounds, or the wounding property for 2 mythic power uses. Both can be activated at once. The boomerang may also be fired via mythic power as a line-based AoE-attack. LOVE IT!

The pdf also includes the outback woomera, a spear thrower that may be wielded as a magical club in melee, and it makes short spears fired treated as distance or keen, and maximum range is increased as well. Mythic wielders get both properties, and mythic power may be used as a swift action to gain a bonus to atk and ignore cover and concealment and bypass DR, or vastly increase range. Path ability synergy is properly taken into account, and the same holds true for feats. The woomera of a mythic wielder can also produce goodberries and water. The possum-skin cloak fortifies versus the weather and elements, gaining also a bonus to Knowledge (local) and (history) checks due to the ancestor’s influence. The cloak can make for a warm shelter on trees that is hard to notice. Mythic wearers can consult with the ancestors via mythic power and the cloak enhances the surge mechanic. Similarly, the shelter-ability improves. Cool! The final two items would be amulets: The Hei Tiki Amulet fortifies versus fear and emotion effects and helps avoiding being surprised. Mythic wielders can benefit from mage’s faithful hounds or interposing hands, the latter in the shape of tiki masks or idols. Cool! The Hei Matau Amulet nets a luck bonus on saves and helps navigating the waves, greatly enhancing Profession (sailor) and allowing for know direction on the waves as well as limited water walking. If dropped into sea water, it becomes a celestial giant seahorse, a manaia, which is tightly codified and sports unique abilities. Mythic wielders can exert limited control over the waves and gets better interaction with the spirits – really cool. These items are really amazing.

Now, let’s take a look at the monsters, shall we? At CR 1/MR 1, we have a platypus familiar, who gains electrolocation in water, with mythic power upgrading its range temporarily, as wella s the ability to generate a mud cloud. Cool. There also are two marsupials at these CR/MRs – mangaroos and thylacines. Mythic kangaroos get massive leaps as long as they have mythic power and pretty brutal kicks. Thylacines can render a target flat-footed via movement, courtesy of distracting stripes, and they get a serious threat range, with the option to enhance the critical modifier to x3 via mythic power. The final creature at this CR/MR-range would be the lavishly-illustrated orang-pendak, whose backwards feet get proper rules-representation and better object-bursting. Unique and nice one.

There are also two mythic megafaunas – at CR 3/MR 1, the moa, and the CR 8/MR 3 megalania – the former may use mythic power for speed bursts and trample/stampede targets, making them more potent in groups. The megalania is brutal: 1/round, as an immediate action, the critter can expend a mythic power to take a full round’s worth of actions! Resting in sunlight can allow it to regain mythic power and their acidic stomach is particularly nasty.

At CR 4/MR 2, the adaro can create swirling cyclones of water and ride these, and their rain frenzy ability is upgraded. Solid upgrade! The manananggal’s mythic version, at CR 8/MR 3, deserves special mention: It gets the ability to emit deceptive noises, drain mythic power and the incredible flexible, prehensile tongue is a much-desired upgrade the changes how this one runs for the better. Add a mythic power-fueled shroud of shadows, and we have a winner here. Speaking of undead: There is a CR 6/MR 2 mythic penanggalen based on a oracle 5, sure…but the write-up is inspired due to another reason: The book contains a massive mythic template: 10 tiers net progressively cooler abilities. I adore this. Two thumbs up! Speaking of amazing undead: The CR 10/MR 4 mythic polong leaves thin blood coatings that grease the area, get proper bloody possession 8including tell-tale signs), and the mythic polong may attempt to slip the bonds of its limitations..its terrible wounds have also been improved. Glorious upgrade of the base critter!!

The Cr 16/MR 6 papinijuwari comes with a reprint of the mythic Awesome Blow feat, and receives an aura of fecundity. It can also crawl inside of deceased creature’s mouths, leaving a horrid disease behind that renders the corpse into a disgusting biological mine, while also replenishing mythic power. The write-up also provides a nasty pestilence form…inspired. At CR 12/MR 5, the kapre’s smoke can be made to last longer via mythic use expenditure. The mythic version also gets a massive debuffing aura that enhances flanking, interacting with confounding aura. 1/day spewing embers and better invisibility, a boost when almost defeated and the ability to grant a limited wish make this version of the creature infinitely cooler than the original. Huge plus! At the same CR/MR, the tiberolith’s corrosive strikes kickin MUCH sooner (thankfully!) and gets Power Attack, in spite of being mindless. The rudimentary clockworks of the construct net bonus feats and +2 to AC, as well as allowing mythic characters to imbue power within. It can also trap spells and discharge them. Damn cool and potentially, super lethal!

At CR 11/MR 4, we also get a coral golem’s mythic iteration, which reconstructs itself in water. Its attacks can infest targets with coral, and the entity can expend mythic power to break off parts of its body to generate healing powder. Very cool!

Speaking of “very cool” – At CR 5/MR 2, the new creature within these pages would be the Tiddalik – a Medium, bipedal magical beast that somewhat resembles a frog: The creature can absorb the liquids of those grappled, and absorb vast amounts of water – enough, and it actually assumes a giant form of sorts! Yes, stat mods provided! Super cool and oozing flair: bringing these guys to laugh can result in devastating expulsions of tidal water! I love this critter!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch on a formal and rules-language level. Layout adheres to legendary Games’ two-column full-color standard, with a mixture of new and old full-color artworks – the one-page version of the cover artwork in particular is amazing. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Alex Riggs, Mike Welham and Jason Nelson have done it – this installment of Mythic Monsters is genius. From the cool and unique items to the critters: Animals make sense and feel plausible; undead are icky and tap into taboos and anxieties; constructs feel effective and magical beings feel magical, improving vastly upon the base creatures in a wide variety of ways. This is a superior supplement in every way, even within the context of the high quality Mythic Monsters-series. This is a 5 star + seal of approval gem. You should definitely get this – it does vastly enhance the rich lore and concepts of the base creatures. One of the best installments in the series!!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mythic Monsters #49: South Pacific
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Mythic Monsters #48: Fey
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/24/2018 13:41:30

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Mythic Monsters-series clocks in at 32 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of introduction, 2 pages of SRD, 3 pages of advertisement, 1 page inside of back cover, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 18 pages, chock-full with content, so let’s take a look!

So, this time around, we get something rather radically different – we get an actual, full 10-level PrC as supplemental material, the fey-bound knight, who requires a BAB of +4, the ability to cast a 1st level arcane spell from the illusion and enchantment schools, suitable languages for the courts and 5 ranks in a skill. The knight gets d8 HD, 2 + Int skills per level, 3/4th BAB-progression and ½ Ref- and Will-save progressions and 7/10th spellcasting progression. The PrC nets proficiency with simple and martial weapons as well as light armor. At 1st, 5th and 9th level, the PrC nets “Skill Focus (enchantment or illusion” or “Greater Skill Focus (enchantment or illusion)” – that should be Spell Focus and Greater Spell Focus, respectively. The PrC gains low-light vision at first level, or upgrades the ability further. Additionally, the PrC class levels are treated as fighter levels for the purpose of feat prerequisites, 2nd level nets a +4 bonus to Bluff and on saves versus mind-affecting spells or effects, which upgrades to slippery mind at 7th level. 3rd level nets +4 to Stealth checks. The knight may also become class levels rounds invisible, as per the spell, as a swift action, with 7th level increasing duration to 1 minute per class level. At 4th level, when confirming a critical hit, the knight can force a target to fall asleep 1/day, +1/day for every 2 levels thereafter. The ability notes that the save is Charisma-based, but since this is a PrC and not a monster, we’d expect to see the save DC spelled out here.

At 5th level, the knight gets DR 2/cold iron, which upgrades to DR 4/cold iron at 8th level. 6th level nets class level minutes of fly via gossamer wings, with activation being a swift action. 7th level nets an illusory armor (once more, disbelieving DC should be spelled out); 8th level lets the knight roll twice on Bluff or Disguise checks. 9th level nets a breath of life/dimension door combo that also greater invisibility-s the knight as an illusory duplicate dies in her place. Usable 1/day. The capstone nets fey apotheosis. The prestige class comes with mythic upgrades for all abilities – darkvision and greensight, mythic spell abilities, etc.. However, there is another pretty crucial flaw here: None of the abilities properly codify their type – Ex, Su, SP? No idea in many instances. This is really puzzling, and, like the save DC-guffaw, a puzzling oversight. Don’t get me wrong – neither breaks the PrC, but they constitute unnecessary flaws in the PrC.

Okay, there are a couple of CR 1/MR 1 fey herein: The brownie gets a series of cool SPs and makes these fey really helpful for Crafting and persuading folks, using the surge die in a cool manner. Their happy whistling while working also translates to some bardic tricks, making this an epic take on the concept. Big plus! The jinkin gremlin can solo the group tinker ability and leading a group, a mythic jinkin improves save DC and CL while also increasing the severity of the curse placed on magic items. The mythic jinkin can also use its hatred to penalize a target (I assume the default standard action for SU-activation, but an activation action would have been nice…) and become permanently greater invisible to the target – for mythic power, this may extend to a second target…damn cool! The mythic grig may 3/day upgrade its SPs to the mythic versions, and the grig may maintain its fiddling, once started, quicker and use mythic power to regain rounds of fiddling. The mythic sprite can use its luminosity to dispel darkness-based effects. The verbiage has a slight deviation from standard here. The sprite also gets the ability to emit a burst of potentially blinding light. The tooth fairy is wicked: Odontophobia makes it gain frightful presence versus a victim after extracting a tooth and imposes a penalty to saves versus its tricks. Brandishing a creature’s tooth lets them restart this ability. EW. They can also penalize natural bite and claw attacks. Really cool mythic upgrade.

The pdf also contains 2 CR 3/MR 1 creatures, the first of which would be the forlarren gets more versatile SPs and may exchange heat metal uses. The forlarren may also use an immediate action to relegate the remorse felt to other characters – when it uses this ability, a mythic power use nets an AoO nauseating aura. The nuglub gremlin would be the second creature at this CR/MR loadout and gets opportunistic grappling and bleed damage claws and teeth as well Improved Sunder as well as use mythic power to ignore hardness of an item.

At CR 6/MR 2, we get a mythic version of the sprite swarm, which can duplicate a hypnotic or rainbow pattern, though the latter requires a mythic power expenditure. The swarm also gets a bleeding damage causing needle cone that also affects targets with distraction. Nice one! The mythic iteration of the fastachee clocks in at CR 13/MR 5 and may use its abilities to 1/day duplicate heroes’ feast and the summon nature’s ally spells can be cast faster, with mythic power even as a swift action, and single creatures can get the agile or savage templates added. They can also instruct targets in farming and gardening, with a bonus for 1 year. Domain spells may be freely upgraded to their mythic iterations and the fastachee criting a target can alleviate starvation, but also make the target overly full – and yes, this may be used with regular attacks via mythic powers.

At a pretty massive CR 18/MR 7, the mythic hamadryad can’t be flanked or caught flat-footed, may extend her DR and energy resistance to allies, and is excellent at social skills – oh, and more targets for charm effects. Her arrows entangle (add constriction via mythic power…ouch!) and a mere touch can wreck metal - really cool. The hamadryad is also guarded from harm by terrestrial animals, plants and vermin, as befitting of her station. Cool mythic upgrade! The Cr 8/MR 3 mythic sangoi reprints the Mythic Aid feat for your convenience, and the curse of misery ability is significantly better. They can sneak attack bleeding targets, their horrific critical ability gets better…and they receive a paralyzing gaze, making an already cool critter even more badass. Speaking of which…at CR 20/MR 8, there would be the Vilderavn. This fellow is AMAZING. They can analyze fighting styles, use mythic power to reopen bleeding wounds just closed, add murderous command to their already nasty shatter loyalties ability. Oh, and they get better defenses, a death curse, better critical (including fortification-negation…), instant assumption of those whose souls they have eaten…the statblock takes up a total of 2 pages with a ton of unique and amazing abilities that further enhance an already impressive critter. Big kudos!

The new critter herein is a winner: The Horzitoth is described thus: “A thick mound of lumpy, tattered rags hangs suspended like a cloak over a blot of darkness in the doorway. Its two spindly arms end in long, downward-facing knives, and a horse skull, with a wild green eye behind it, rests where its face should be.” Yes, this one is CREEPY. At CR 8/MR 3, these fey are addicted to nightmares and pull the nightmares of the sleeping into the waking world. It also regains hit points or gains temporary hit points in the presence of sleeping targets, and it may Wisdom drain targets and regain mythic power. While this cannot be cheesed, these fey can use mythic powers to affect the waking world with them. They can also return home via mythic power, but only while near a civilized structure or observed. Not unobserved. Observed! Nice one. Oh, and it can dimension door with grappled targets through doors… Super cool critter!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very precise regarding most components, but there are a couple of details that are not as refined as we’ve come to expect from Legendary Games, particularly regarding the PrC. Layout adheres to the 2-column full-color standard of the series, and artworks are a mixture of old and new, with the quality being high. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Mike Welham, Jason Nelson and Loren Sieg all are designers that stand for excellence, and as such, it should come as no surprise that I adored most of the builds within. While the sprite somewhat underwhelmed me, the horzitoth is amazing, and so are most of the upgrades herein. HOWEVER, the PrC is significantly less impressive. It offers nothing I haven’t seen before apart from the mythic upgrade-synergy, is conceptually okay, but its rules-presentation is more in line with monsters than with PrCs. It feels a bit cumbersome and unfocused, as far as I’m concerned, and not up to the coolness of the rest of the pdf. If you don’t mind that, then consider this an excellent installment; as a reviewer, however, I need to take this into account, which is why my final verdict, alas, has to be 4 stars. However, since a couple of the builds herein, particularly the horzitoth, hamadryad, vilderavn, brownie and sangoi really captured my imagination, I will bestow my seal of approval onto this in spite of its imperfections.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mythic Monsters #48: Fey
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Mythic Monsters #47: Greek
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/24/2018 13:39:29

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Mythic Monsters-series clocks in at 32 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of introduction, 2 pages of SRD, 3 pages of advertisement,1 page inside of back cover, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 18 pages, chock-full with content, so let’s take a look!

Now, as always, the installment begins with a kind of customized bonus content, which, this time around, would be a collection of 4 new magic items, one of which is an artifact. Two of the items are directly associated with the fabled Hydra of legend: Teeth of the hydra grow phalanx soldiers upon being sown. Mythic users can expend mythic power when sowing these teeth to enforce cooperation, and more potent mythic beings can also spend even more mythic power to add the invincible mythic template. Solid one! Dread fangs of the hydra are an upgraded version of the standard teeth, growing skeletal champions that will attack those incapable of channeling negative energy. Mythic power can be used to bring them to heel, though, and those with both access to mythic power and channel negative energy, can enhance them with the invisible simple template. Nice one. Kudos: Schools associated have been modified for the improved version.

The yoke of the brazen bull may be placed on an animal once in 7 days, causing it to burst into flames that do not harm the animal. After a round, the target animal transforms into a fire-variant gorgon, which may be upgraded with the savage template via mythic power expenditure. The gorgon is hostile, but may be brought to heel via Handle Animal, and the control of the bull is tightly and concisely codified with precise rules-language. Really interesting would be that movement between user and bull/gorgon-thing is tied as though mounted, sans the benefits. Still, this makes movement potentially really interesting. Additionally, the user may manifest a plow behind the bull. Throwing the teeth of a sufficiently potent beast in the plowed earth creates a small troop-like skirmish that attacks everything in the area. Once the skirmish ends, the soldiers will remain at the user’s command. Really cool, complex thing. The artifact I noted would be the golden fleece, which sheds light and may catch light, returning it as daylight. If the fleece is placed on a target, the creature gains the benefits of heal and greater restoration. Curses and the like are also broken, and when placed over a corpse, it may even use resurrection if the creature hasn’t been dead for too long. The character can also expend mythic power to enhance its effect to the mythic iterations, and the fleece can also glow. A creature can only benefit thrice from the fleece, and every use comes with a chance of it dissolving and reappearing somewhere else. Nice take on the classic item.

At the lowest challenge array, the mythic faun clocks in at CR 2/MR 1. The mythic upgrade receives basic bardic spellcasting, something that the base creature really should have had, and the ability to make short-lived sleep arrows – so no, you can’t stockpile these folks to break economies. Kudos! The arrows they create can force two rolls to save, taking the worse result. Nice. At CR 4/MR 2, the dryad’s mythic iteration can animate the bonded tree to move, leaving a path of churned earth. Minor complaint here: The ability requires defaulting to the Su’s standard activation action, as it does not note one. The mythic dryad is aware of all fire within a mile (cool angle!) and her entangle (not italicized) blocks sight for Large (not capitalized properly) creatures and smaller ones. The dryad may also expend mythic power to greatly increase the save DC to escape. (Once more, skills and attributes have not been capitalized properly…weird.) I like this one, but the formatting hiccups are odd. At one CR more, the mythic harpy can use Bluff (once more, oddly not capitalized) to explain away her captivating song. Oddly the ability notes that it’s an opposed Bluff check, which Bluff is pretty much already; the verbiage may be misunderstood here. Cool: The harpy also gets the means to emit a mythic-power-fueled scream that spoils drinks nearby – including potions! Cool!

At CR 6/MR 2, the mythic Cyclops may 1/day use a variant of moment of prescience or vision, the latter focusing on mythic ranks, ascensions and the like. These guys get Master Craftsman instead of a mythic feat and may use 2 mythic power to temporarily gain Craft Magic Arms and Armor. Their insight can also 1/day exactly set the outcome of a roll, which may also have a fixed surge die result added. Mythic power can be used to make use of this more often, though this is subject to immediate action limitations. The mythic Cyclops also gets uncanny dodge or its improved brother ability, and they are immune to precision damage. Really cool upgrade of the base critter. Clocking it at one CR and MR higher, the mythic cerberi get a cool, unique defensive stance, may smell souls (tracking undead, even incorporeal ones) and all-around vision. The critter can also spend mythic power to further upgrade his sight. The three heads can also allow for triple saves on some effects. Really cool: The critter gets a super-potent 3-headed flaying jaw attack that can really generate some nasty bleeding wounds. This is based on the barbazu’s infernal wounds, though, annoyingly, some references to the original abilities are still here. The build, per se, is cool, though. The mythic version of the Stand Still feat has been reprinted for your convenience here.

The mythic iteration of the chimera clocks in at CR 9/MR 4, and when managing to hit a target with two heads, it renders the target flat-footed versus the chimera – ouch! Speaking of which: In such a case, the critter can expend mythic power as a swift action for a really painful extra damage that may stagger the foe. The mythic chimera also gets a potent defensive hide I really enjoyed, and yes, the breath weapon is upgraded with Devastating Breath (mythic feat reprinted for your convenience) and also has a more potent breath with additional physical damage mixed in. Nice one! At one CR more, we also get a mythic version of the stymphalides, whose wings “grind and shriek” – I assume this to make Stealth impossible. The mythic version also is particularly adept at using wings to attack, and may use them as a shield of sorts, deflecting arrows, and via mythic power, even negate targeted ranged spells requiring an attack roll. Big plus: The iconic rain of razor-shark feathers has been reproduced in a cool manner, creating caltrop’d terrain and taking shields etc. into account. Big plus!

Also at CR 10/MR 4, the gorgon’s mythic iteration is immune versus charm and fear effects, ignores hardness with trample, and they may use mythic power when hit to attempt a sunder maneuver versus the weapons striking them. Solid upgrade. Now, the pdf also includes quite a few sea-themed monsters: At CR 6/MR 3, the siren’s mythic iteration gets the ability to charm any who lay eyes on them (spell reference not italicized), and the siren may spend mythic power to extend the effects of the obsession effect of her songs. The CR 8/MR 3 oceanid have their water telekinesis slightly upgraded and may use it particularly effectively versus ships, capsizing them and dealing a ton of damage; additionally, they can use their summon nature’s ally V quicker, even as a swift action via mythic power. Oceanids can also help or hamper aquatic vessels with mythic power. Neato! The CR 17/MR 6 mythic Charybdis comes as a giant version, with Inescapable Grasp reprinted. With a great 1-page artwork, the critter gets a deadly drowning stomach and may upgrade its SPs to the mythic iterations. Speaking of which: More SPs and the ability to destroy spells and magics helping survival in the seas is cool. The monstrosity also benefits from a very powerful, defensive tidal wave. That obscures vision etc. While we’re on the topic of these legends: The CR 20/MR 8 mythic Scylla gets the same 3/day spontaneous mythic spell upgrade…oh, and she can drain mythic power with critical hits and even recharge her limited use feats. Supreme grappling and devastating tossing of targets is cool. She can also wolf down targets on critical hits for a particularly devastating hit. Her loathing for spellcasters is brutal and hampers concentration greatly – oh, and she may use mythic power to make single attacks versus casters daring to cast, potentially in addition to AoOs. This lady is super-deadly and rather fun – big upgrade from the comparably bland default critter.

The new creature featured within this pdf would be the Stheno Medusa, who clocks in at CR 13/MR 5, a Large and deadly being, whose blood from bleed or blood drain or critical hits can spawn venomous snake swarms or giant scorpions. Her scales automatically damage weapons of a hardness below 20, and her claws similarly ignore any hardness below that value and have an increased threat range. The arrows fired are all poisonous and she is immune to death effects, energy drain, exhaustion, etc. Cool: The head of the stheno may be used when she’s slain, but this comes as a risk for the wielder…This medusa also gets the option to make her face seem pleasing…or nauseating. And, obvious, poison, petrifying gaze and coil-grappling allows for a couple of cool tricks. Neat monster.

Conclusion:

Editing is generally top-notch on both formal and rules-language levels, though formatting is, in a couple of critters, significantly weaker than usual for Legendary Games. Layout adheres to a 2-column full-color standard and the pdf sports a couple of nice full-color artworks. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Jason Nelson, Jonathan H. Keith, Mike Welham and Jim Groves are all veterans, and it shows: The mythic upgrades herein are evocative, cool and truly neat. The new critter is strong as well, and yeah, I like this. That being said, this is formally slightly less refined than usual for the series. While I still very much enjoy this pdf, as a reviewer, I do have to slightly penalize the pdf for its minor glitches. As such, my final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, though this still remains better than most monster books out there, which is why I’ll round up.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mythic Monsters #47: Greek
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

On the Siberian Line
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/24/2018 13:22:54

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This module clocks in at 66 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of introduction, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 58 pages of content, quite a lot, considering the amount of information per page Legendary Games’ provides.

Now, “On the Siberian Line”, as the name implies, is an adventure that takes place in our world – to be more precise, it is intended to be spliced into the “Rasputin Must Die!” adventure, between the first and second part. The module is intended for 13th level characters, and is roughly based on historical facts, with a bit of the fantastic spliced in, obviously. The pdf includes the bushi fighter archetype, who gains a modified proficiency list and exchanges a couple of fighter bonus feats with a samurai or cavalier’s order. Instead of bravery, we have bonuses to chosen Knowledge skills, and instead of weapon training, we get a scaling bonus to atk, damage and combat maneuvers with the weapon in question, as well as applying the bonus to e.g. sunder attempts versus the weapon. The pdf includes the stats for 4 different types of real world armor, with the heavier ones providing DR versus firearms. The pdf also provides stats for percussion grenades and the Lewis M1916 machine gun.

Now, the cartography deserves special mention – it is amazing: Both settlements and combat-map-style encounters receive maps, and the latter are provided in aesthetically-pleasing, isometric versions. Cooler yet: In style, they are deliberately crafted to be reminiscent of propaganda posters of that time There is one downside here: While quite a few of these encounter maps work perfectly well as player maps, not all of them do, and there are no explicitly redacted versions sans keys provided. The adventure does come with copious amounts of read-aloud text.

All right, this is as far as I can go without going into SPOILERS. Potential players should jump ahead to the conclusion.

..

.

Okay, only GMs around? Great!

We begin with the arrival of the dancing hut on Earth – it materializes on a rozen river, and that river may well collapse. Similarly, there is a shadow projection nearby, allowing for seamless integration into Rasputin Must Die. However, the hut will be spooked and run – causing an avalanche. Worse yet for the PCs: The Strange occurrences will make the PCs targets for an air raid executed by Nieuport 12 biplanes! It does not end there: Drawn by the battle, soon, a troop of Bolshevik soldiers will approach, briefly discuss the weirdos…and then open fire! In the chaos, all but one of the prisoners of the Bolsheviks escape: The PCs will have a chance to save the remaining British soldier after dealing with the deadly troop: Sam Hooley. Pointers for the discussion with Hooley and his rationalization of non-human beings and magic are provided, and the pdf does a solid job keeping the scenario on track here.

Not soon after, the PCs will hear shots ringing – and Sam immediately recognizes his fallen comrades. Spread of the bodies indicates that they have been shot from a single position, and indeed, this area is the hunting ground of Snezhana Bovarina, a rather deadly sniper working for the Russians. The combat encounter here is rather interesting, courtesy of the complex terrain, which includes a whole array of bear traps to keep charging characters at bay. Unfortunately, this is one of the maps that does not come with a player-friendly version, which means that the traps and sniper’s position are actually notes on the map, requiring some work by the GM. On the plus-side, it is very much possible that the PCs take the sniper alive – Sam does note the Hague convention preventing the killing of combatants that have surrendered.

Completing their overland trek, the PCs arrive at Priiskovyy, where the joint allied forces currently have their camp under the command of General Henry Nicholls and Katashi Wada. The camp is fully detailed and mapped (once more sans player-friendly version, but here, it’s okay – Sam could theoretically explain what the Cs and numbers on the map mean…), and, after meeting the brass, the PCs quite probably are enlisted. When confronted with news of Rasputin being alive, the commanders note that a double-agent that goes by the name of “Scriba” has provided similar intel.

At this point, the book takes a much-welcomes departure from the combat focus that is so prevalent in the AP at this point, splicing an investigation into the structure of the AP. There are things amiss in the camp, as the PCs will soon find out while waiting for the train. The module provides a massive amount of different, scaling pieces of information regarding the occurrences here – and indeed, there is a traitor among the soldiers: Arsenic intended for syphilitic soldiers was stolen and mixed into food, providing a rather creative angle here: Perceptive and particularly curious PCs will also pick up the mention of the “Order of the Evening Star” and notes towards magic: There is an imperial foo lion that will not be acknowledged, and Sam will be framed for murder –it’ll be up to the PCs to prove his innocence, as the Japanese drag him away. Unearthing the master spy responsible will be a hard task indeed.

Once this section is completed, the PCs will take the train, and here, missed information may be imparted – oh, and a potent, high-level ninja sans tongue may well try to assassinate the PCs…but due to the man’s tongue missing, interrogation will be difficult. This is where the module shows some serious care, as the module does take PC abilities to read thoughts etc. into account, proving a connection to General Wada, and providing the association should be difficult, as the mean do not recognize the ninja. That being said, the PCs may actually start putting together pieces of information here, concluding that Baba Yaga has touched Japanese shores as well. If the PCs botched their interaction with the spy, they may face a deadly encounter, wherein the bridge crossed by the train is blown up by an elite cadre of saboteurs – stopping these fully statted folks will be a hard task indeed. Whether the reinforcements for Irkutsk, currently held by the Czech Legion, will either have to walk or arrive by train in Port Baykal to board a ship and prepare for the invasion of the city.

Sam, in the meanwhile, was taken aside by Wada, who, with his men, left the ship in reach of Irkutsk. Sam believes that Scriba is endangered by Wada and his men and thus shares the code phrase. Irkutsk is intriguing: The city features quite a few armies, and the PCs can use various ways to get through the fully mapped settlement: The module takes Stealth and high-level magic into account and provides guidance there – oh, and since we’re talking about high-level PCs, the adventure also features one-man army rules for the PCs, which make for a fascinating and fun mini-game using the mass combat rules! That being said, if you do dislike these, the module does offer not only for variant rules within this context, but also for means to play the adventure without resorting to them!

However, as the PCs arrive at Scriba’s location, they will have been outmaneuvered: Wada has already taken the agent and hijacked the SS Baikal, hell-bent on killing both Rasputin and Baba Yaga – mistrustful, the PCs will have to best the Japanese that have taken control of the ship and general Wada – as well as the mighty foo lion. Explaining why they wear the witch’s dark mantle can make for an interesting angle, and indeed, the general and his order turn out to not actually be that opposed to the goals of the PCs…but that doesn’t mean that the stubborn samurai will just lay down his weapons…

The adventure concludes with detailed notes on how to proceed with the AP.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch and adhere to the high quality we’ve come to expect from legendary Games in both rules-integrity and formal criteria. Layout adheres to a 2-column full-color standard and the pdf comes with nice full-color artworks as well as neat cartography; as noted below, the absence of player-friendly maps is a minor issue that primarily hampers one encounter, but represents otherwise less of a problem. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Pedro Coelho’s yarn during a Weird World War I is a compelling adventure that adds further context to what is often regarded as a highlight, perhaps the highlight, of the Reign of Winter AP – for those groups out there that enjoy its premise, that is. The additional time spent in our world can make for a compelling angle, and indeed, the challenges posed are diverse: From challenging tactical encounters to the investigation and the mini-game, the mixture of genres helps render the stay in Russia more diverse and interesting, at least as far as I’m concerned. If anything, the adventure excels in a variety of different ways, particularly in accounting for high-level capabilities. The incredulity of locals when confronted with magic and the like are explained in a sufficiently concise manner, and the adventure, as a whole, makes for a great addition to the AP. In short, I consider this to be a great addition to the series, and a yarn that is both mechanically compelling and diverse – if anything, I wished that this was an even heftier tome! Rating-wise, there is next to nothing to complain about. While the lack of player-friendly maps hurts the adventure, everything else is compelling, creative and fun. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 5 stars – if you and your players loved the premise of “Rasputin Must Die!”, then get this – it’ll make that chapter of the AP shine so much more.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
On the Siberian Line
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Treasury of the City
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/16/2018 04:57:54

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This collection of items clocks in at 21 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of introduction, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 12 pages of content. Now, as always, there is a lot of content within these pages, courtesy of Legendary Games consumer-friendly layout, so let’s take a look!

On the first pages, we have a list of all the items featured within this pdf, listed by price for your convenience, but before we dive into the specifics, let’s start with the new special weapon properties featured within. There are two ones that have a +1 equivalent, the first of which would be deceptive. This one adds twice the weapons enhancement bonus to Stealth and Sleight of Hand checks to keep it hidden from prying eyes, and similarly, the bonus is added to the DC of Diplomacy or Heal checks made to gather information about it – big kudos for taking that investigative aspect into account. Additionally, when striking a flat-footed or unaware target, a glamour is implanted that scrambles divinations pertaining the attack, serving as a misdirection, save that the wielder gets to decide the false information. This is genius. I mean it. This weapon quality alone may be worth getting the pdf for. This provides so many truly evocative and complex investigation angles, I can’t even begin to list them all. Easily one of my favorite special abilities for a weapon ever.

Partisan weapons are attuned to a city, nation, etc., and if the wielder is a member of this group, she receives a +4 insight bonus to Bluff, Disguise and Sleight of Hand to conceal it from members of other nations, cities, etc. On a critical hit versus a flat-footed humanoid member of another nation, that target must succeed a Will save or be shaken for 1 minute. The wielder also receives a +2 bonus to confirm critical hits versus other such members of different nations. The attuned nation, city state, etc. must be determined upon creation. Another winner in my book! The third one would be a +2 special ability, namely treasonous, which is basically the upgraded version of partisan, increasing its enhancement bonus by +2 versus members of other nations and +1d6 damage, which is not multiplied on a critical hit. It also makes the Sense Motive DC to determine lying etc. harder. Okay these latter two are amazing once you think about it – what they mean for nations and how they work, how that can influence the game – impressive indeed.

Beyond these, we also 4 armors and one specific shield. The first armor would be the crypt warden’s plate, which prevents the wearer from being raised from the dead; it’s also deathless and shows the difference between good and bad item design: In another book, the armor would just detect undead by some means. Here, however, the armor actually describes how it reacts to nearby undead – cold, glow, etc. – this adds a tangible sense of the magical here. The lavishly-illustrated hauberk-in-motley is so light, it does not penalize Acrobatics with the armor check penalty. Additionally, as a standard action, the wearer may make a Perform (comedy) check to fascinate nearby targets if they fail their save. A hex-caveat prevents abuse, and the armor provides synergy with the fascinate bardic performance for hideous laughter 3/day, and characters skilled in Perform (comedy) can allow for the increase of the save DCs. Quickchange studded leather is amazing: It can be donned quickly and may be loosened as part of making an Escape Artist check. Love this one! The scale of endless bureaucracy has 25 scales that may be removed, transforming into sheets of paper. 10 of these may be used to create perfect copies of nonmagical text. There also are scales that can transcribe spoken words. The transcribed request can then be forced upon recipients, compelling them to fulfill the requests. The final scales allow for the creation of compelling forgeries and the wearer’s skills pertaining law etc. are greatly enhanced. An utterly inspired armor here, one that feels truly evocative. The shield I noted would be the roofrunner’s buckler, which may be placed on the ground. A creature that’s not too heavy may place it on the ground and have it levitate short distances. Really cool!

The pdf also includes three specific weapons: The captive blade can be used freely while entangled or grappled, and is particularly potent when wielded against restraints, manacles, etc. The forgetful sap can add memory lapse to attacks, with a save to negate. The DC is higher for unaware targets. Creatures not armored too well can also be touch attack memory lapse’d. Thirdly, the nightwatch crossbow has a darkvision glass scope and may 1/day fire a daylight bolt. Cool.

The pdf contains 4 different rings: The diplomat’s signet is a low cost skill boost stacking with the other two diplomat’s items. These are wondrous items that also enhance diplomacy and net different Knowledge boosts. While I like sets, this one is, compared to the other items herein, not particularly interesting and doesn’t net anything unique beyond stacking bonuses.

The ring of erudite alacrity consists of 3 rings, and spinning the gold band lets you perfectly memorize one area or up to 1000 words of text, for 24 hours. This is perfectly codified. The platinum band allows for quicker spell research, magical crafting and locating written information – and yes, the item does take losing and retaking the item into account regarding total duration calculation! The final band provides a short-term initiative, Ref-save and AC-boost. Ring of the treacherous advisor mirrors the alignment of casters attempting to discern the wearer’s alignment; the second ability allows the wearer to lie even in magical zones. The scabbard ring can hold a weapon in tattoo form on the forearm of the wearer.

The pdf also contains a new rod, the heartstone rod, which nets blindsense – by virtue of hearing creature heartbeats! It also can affect targets with the curse of the tell-tale heart, making targets that lie or attempt to stretch the truth suffer from racing heartbeats and become both fatigued and shaken. So cool! The wondrous items with include the bracelets of freedom and are super tough to notice, netting the wearer a massive +20 bonus to hide them from inspection. These enhance Escape Artist, and, as a swift action, all but guarantee escape from manacles and similar restraints, making is a great item when attempting an extraction of a target of an infiltration under the guide of having been caught. The bracers also allow you to make inspection seem like you’re still restrained. Cool one! Candles of the sacrament blesses those nearby and may affect evil targets nearby with bane. Okay one, I guess. Chain caltrops are magical, cause bleeding damage, entangle like tanglefoot bags and are reusable. For 600 gp, certainly worth getting! Cool one!

The pdf also includes two stylish pieces of headwear – the cheater’s hat makes the target super lucky in games of chance, with suitable rules-representations of the effects and some nice storytelling potential. As an item for the crooked, the pilferer’s gloves complement it and have a built-in set of masterwork thieves’ tools and, beyond enhancing Sleight of Hand and Stealth used to steal or the steal maneuver, it also alerts the wielder of magical alarms and the like and may be used to dispel such effects. During Disable Device checks, the gloves can also shroud the wearer in silence. With the threefold knocker glove, you may knock on a door and emerge from another unlocked door within the same building or 100 ft. With three knocks, you can even bring allies with you. Love it! And if someone catches you – well, there’s always the toxic scabbard for light weapons, which can bypass detection and becomes even more useful for those with the poison use ability.

The second hat would be the detective’s cap, which enhances Perception and Sense Motive and allows for tracking In cities via Knowledge (local) – fun twist there! If you’re wearing that cap, you may also be interested in the mark of the authority, a badge that enhances your own CMB and that of nearby allies with a couple of fitting 1/day spells. With the inspector’s bullhorn you WILL be hear – it basically acts as a megaphone. It helps to Intimidate those in the cone, and the horn enhances the DC of sonic-based effects channeled through it. It also can 3/day greater command/greater forbid action, as chosen. The horn also allows the user to demand that targets show themselves, negating invisibility, blink and similar effects. If already visible, the affected targets must move towards the user. Damn useful!!

The beautifully-illustrated clockwork spotter is an intricate clockwork birdy that, upon activation, becomes a clockwork raven that can locate creatures and objects and help find the path. Really neat!

The cloak of the drifter helps generalize the wearer and disguise as nonspecific targets and helps blend in crowds. Nice one! Glassee gloves tightly codify making items transparent. The senator’s stole helps with social skills and allows the wearer to instruct targets with know peerage and it enhances language-dependent effects and fortifies the wearer versus charm and dominate while enhancing the wearer’s harmless charms, making them harder to dispel. At, ironically, twice the price of the stole, the ratty robes enhance Sleight of Hand and fortifies the wearer against poisons and diseases. The robe also prevents rats and rat swarms from attacking the wearer, and allows the wearer to turn into a rat swarm once per day. Even cooler: this may be used as a reactive dispersal to mitigate the worst brunt of assaults. The third such equipment would be the gorgeously-illustrated sewer suit, which acts as either a +1 leather armor or in conjunction with it, as a garment. The hood filters filth and helps versus disease and nausea and swarms. It also helps you hold your breath and allows for quicker movement through bogs etc. Cool! Finally, there would be portable waterworks, buckets that can turn into wells or fountains!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch on both a formal and rules-language level. Layout adheres to a 2-column full-color standard that crams a lot of information on every page, and the pdf sports some really cool, new original artworks in full color. The pdf comes with detailed, nested bookmarks, making navigation comfortable and smooth.

Jason Nelson, Victoria Jaczko and Loren Sieg show how it’s done. As befitting the names of two of these designers (Victoria meaning triumphant, Sieg being German for victory), this collection of items represents a triumphant victory: While the diplomat’s set is somewhat lame, that’s the only item herein that is not amazing: Even when the items are very much spell-based, they offer unique flavor, cool tweaks, and make them feel distinct. The items here are a godsend for a wide variety of campaigns, making this transcend its intended use as a Curse of the Crimson Throne plug-in. The items within this pdf are a boon for GMs struggling with making investigations or heists; any low-magic campaign will adore these; if you even remotely are interesting in espionage or heist scenarios, then this is pretty much a must-have offering. This humble pdf strings inspired items back to back, and it does so in a truly inspired manner – quality over quantity, this delivers in spades and is worth every cent. Get it! My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Treasury of the City
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Displaying 1 to 15 (of 439 reviews) Result Pages:  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 ...  [Next >>] 
0 items
 Hottest Titles
 Gift Certificates
Powered by DriveThruRPG