Bards and Sages RPG Resource
DriveThruComics
DriveThruFiction
Powered by DriveThruRPG


Home » Legendary Games » Reviews
Browse Categories













Back
Other comments left for this publisher:
Pirate Campaign Compendium (5E)
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/03/2019 15:49:45

This book definitely feels like the writer is more familiar and comfortable with the Pathfinder 1.0 rule set than DnD 5E, which isn't neccisarily a bad thing, it just doesn't intigrate as well as i'd like for a 5E campaign. It is also not well organized to the point of related things may be in the same chapter but kinda thrown in with other misc things too and so it feels scatterbrained. There is a lot of non-mechanics content that is pretty solid and most of the things can be pretty easily tweaked to better fit 5E, just know that if you are like me and want to stick to the design intent of 5E you will have to do some work to make the mechanics of the book fit right. Lost a star for organization and another for missing that design mark of 5E, but overall has good content.



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

Add to Bards and Sages RPG Resource Order

Planetary Heroes (Starfinder)
by Cyrano J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/27/2019 12:45:32

Potentially good product with some good ideas and writing on show, but its value is substantially reduced by the editing errors (still uncorrected months after the creator promised to do so) and by the fact that it's all-too-obviously Pathfinder content hastily re-skinned to take advantage of the "Starfinder-compatible" label (meaning many of the characters, for example, come with art that was plainly designed for Pathfinder and not Starfinder). Not Legendary Games' best effort by a long shot.



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

Add to Bards and Sages RPG Resource Order

Whisper House
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/24/2019 08:18:27

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This module clocks in at 54 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page of editorial, 1 page SRD, 2 pages of how to use, 1 page advertisement, 1 page inside of back cover, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 45 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

All right, so this is a plug-in for the Strange Aeons adventure path, and it is intended for a group of 8th level characters. The module works perfectly fine on its own, just fyi. Difficulty-wise, this is one of the tougher adventures, and the module features plenty of read-aloud text as well as hyperlinks.

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

… .. .

All right, only GMs around? Great! So, the PCs are traveling upstream on a boat on the Sellinar river, when the captain approaches the adventurers with a plea – a hunting party hasn’t returned. As the PCs track the missing hunting party, they are ambushed by degenerate villagers of the blood of Yog-Sothoth – interrogation yields further information, as the locals seem to have abducted the hunting party with the express desire of consuming them. Thus, the PCs make their way to the backwater village, where the PCs will have a chance to fight a deadly degenerate witch and her brain ooze allies – if she manages to escape, there’ll be mi-go hunters on the PC’s trails – in the village, two of the missing folks may be saved from a grisly fate, though the process might pit the PCs against an entire village! (Personally, I think the degenerate 27 villagers would have made for a better troop than individuals, but your mileage may vary here.)

Leaving the deadly village behind, the PCs will have to venture towards the seemingly abandoned Labauve manor - the manor is caked in dangerous mold, and is actually the site of a family’s rather grisly corruption (and for the most part, demise) at the hands of contact with Yog-Sothoth. The exploration of the mansion makes up the main meat of the module, and features quite an impressive array of unique builds, including a unique urannag living trap, an ettin with heads of two genders, swarms of eel-things and a grotesque conglomeration of undigested bits granted sentience. The PCs may find an unlikely ally in a unique pipefox variant. Ultimately, the PCs will have to best ratlings, the mad patriarch of the family, and his Yog-Sothoth begat spawn. Interesting here would be the fact that not all mythos-creatures are aligned – the PCs can e.g. make allies of mi-go if they play their cards right – and they’ll need all the help they can get, for a giant spawn of Yog-Sothoth lurks below the manor, where the final member of the hunting party (the others can be found before that) may be saved from a rather grisly fate.

The module includes the blood of Yog-Sothoth CR +1 template, a potent gown for witches, and two new spells, one of which is a summons warm variant.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are very good on a formal and rules-language level. Layout adheres to the awesome full-color two-column standard of the series, and the module comes with a ton of pretty amazing artworks – all original pieces I haven’t seen before – kudos for that! The cartography in full-color is really nice, but somewhat to my chagrin, no player-friendly versions were included. The book comes with basic chapter-header bookmarks.

Tom Phillips really knows how to write good dark fantasy – the adventure is twisted, flavorful, and the atmosphere the mansion manages to evoke is rather grisly indeed. The amount of unique adversaries is another big plus for this mansion-crawl. Now, personally, I think the module would have benefitted from a bit more echoes of days gone, providing hints and visions of the horrid things that befell the manor and the surrounding landscape, for with such an inclusion, this could have served as a rather efficient horror adventure. As provided, this is certainly one of the more compelling and well-crafted mansion-crawls out there. My final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, and while the absence of player-friendly maps is a bit of a bummer, I still feel justified in rounding up for this book.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Whisper House
Click to show product description

Add to Bards and Sages RPG Resource Order

Corrupted Classes
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/11/2019 13:05:22

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This plug-in for Wrath of the Righteous clocks in at 34 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 2 pages of editorial/introduction, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 27 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

The first part of the pdf deals with so-called “Corrupted classes”, representing once pure targets that have been, in some ways, tainted by the harsh reality of the environment they work in – such as the Worldwound. The first of these would be the anarchist inquisitor, who receives access to mesmerist spells, but requires an (un-) holy symbol to cast them – this replaces monster lore and track. Domain is relegated to 3rd level, and all domain powers behave as though two levels lower, but to make up for that, the anarchist may freely choose domains and subdomains, disregarding deity portfolios, and change a domain or subdomain every 3 levels after 3rd. Minor nitpick: The ability’s header isn’t properly bolded here. Instead of detect alignment, we have a +2 to saving throws vs. divinations, and alignment may only be discerned if the CL exceeds inquisitor levels by 4 or more. At 3rd level, we replace solo tactics and 3rd 6th and 9th level’s teamwork feats with the graffiti ability, which is powered by judgment expenditure, but otherwise does not follow its rules. A graffiti is essentially an at-will arcane mark. Optionally, as a full-round action, a judgment use may be used to create enhanced graffiti, which defames a target, imposing a Charisma penalty on the target when interacting with creatures that can see the graffiti. The penalty scales, and duration may be enhanced by expending more judgment uses. Additionally, later, graffiti may duplicate glyphs of warding, that instead of holding a spell, either demoralize or alter a creature’s attitude. At 9th level, we then get the fully functional magic graffiti that can convey mind-affecting effects. Discern lies is replaced with class level rounds of detect charm per day, with said spell (hyperlink here not italicized) and suppress charms and compulsions added to spells known. The teamwork feats usually attained at 12th, 15th and 18th level are replaced by the ability to expend judgments to generate a potent and longer lasting variant of song of discord –proper riot instigation, essentially. 17th level nets immunity to mind-affecting divinations and compulsions instead of slayer. Really cool archetype here!

The Black Mage kineticist archetype is pretty out there – you first need to have the dark elementalist AND elemental annihilator archetypes to even contemplate taking this one – yep, it’s a third archetype stacked atop of the two! The black mage may freely choose on whether to use Intelligence or Constitution to determine the damage caused by wild-talents, the DCs and durations of Constitution-based wild talents, bonus on concentration checks and other class-related effects – this may be done freely and is NOT an action. The archetype nets two feats at first level, the first of which would be Burning Thunder of Omnikinesis. This one lets you choose to take a -40 penalty to Stealth, as you emit light like a sunrod. This feats also locks you into using it whenever you gather power, and it may not be used in social identity, if available through e.g. Incredible Hidden Power. When this feat is active and you use a feat, trait, wild talent, kinetic blast or kineticist class ability that deals one of the 4 core elemental damage types, you may freely opt to choose one of the other 3 damage types instead as a swift action, changing the descriptor, if anything, of the effect. Non-damaging effects remain unchanged, unless the changed energy type invalidates them, subject to GM’s discretion – and this is the key sentence here that prevents this feat from being ridiculously overpowered. That and the daily use cap of 3 + wild talent-governing key ability modifier. Don’t get me wrong – this is still a VERY strong option, but this caveat does indeed eliminate a lot of the tricks you can usually execute with blasts.

The second feat gained at 1st level would be Heir to Power Unstable, the single longest feat I’ve read so far…wait…do you also have a déjà-vu? Yep, this was originally featured in Occult Archetypes II. HOWEVER, close reading of the two actually yields an interesting observation – the feat as presented in this book, while still providing various unique effects depending on elemental focus, etc., has actually been changed in comparison – what previously caused bleed damage, for example, now causes animals and non-sentient animals to attempt to leave the area. The feat has been retooled, to the point where I consider it to be a flavorful and action economy-wise powerful option, and one that I’d allow in my campaign. Pleasant surprise! On the downside, this feat mentions rage or bloodrage in the prerequisite lines – both of which do not belong there.

I already mentioned Incredible Hidden power, another feat that makes a return here – this one also mentions rage/bloodrage, but here, it makes sense – the feat has been expanded, and in case you don’t remember it, it basically nets you a seamless guise/dual identity akin to the vigilante, with themagical child’s transformation sequence. It makes you social identity meeker, and the feat does scale at higher levels, with this book’s iteration also adding in a rage/bloodrage-interaction: These class features are not available per se in social identity, but may be used to tap into e.g. rage powers at increased costs, allowing for an interesting additional multiclass support-angle. The feat also provides a means to Bluff targets regarding your spellcasting in social identity, which, while something I appreciate concept-wise, would have been better off in another feat – this one already does A LOT, and this aspect imho is a bit overkill.

But I digress – let’s return to the black mage archetype. At 1st level, the character gets a masterwork staff that automatically rejuvenates if destroyed or lost upon resting, and that staff is required to use any supernatural kineticist abilities. The staff does not count as an occupied hand fo the purposes of kineticist class features, and all black mage’s wild talents are considered to be arcane, divine and psychic – all effects that resist one of the three are applied to all spells and supernatural effects a black mage uses as a kind of balancing drawback. Black mages only inflict half damage on undead or living creatures with negative energy affinity, and they may never gain kinetic healer. The black mage does not gain internal buffer, but is treated as having it for the purpose of the Force-Focusing Oath feat. This feat, alas, is still missing its prerequisite line. Kudos for the layout of Absorb Violent Energies, another feat from Occult Archetypes II – its presentation in this iteration is cleaner.

Black mages also are treated as having the Craft Wondrous item feat and a CL equal to character level, but only for the purpose of making a lich’s phylactery. While we’re on the subject matter of kineticist options, let us discuss some of the other feats within, shall we? By Blackest Ink lets you read scrolls and cast arcane spells from them at class level -4, and lets you use UMD to decipher them instead of Spellcraft – without read magic. (Spell-reference not italicized); the feat also nets you a scaling Intelligence bonus boost for the purpose of determining the spell levels you can cast from scrolls, which is pretty clever. Initiate of Thanatokinesis builds on By Blackest Ink, and nets you limited access to necromancy SPs, with burn costs – the feat may be taken multiple times, may not be used in sunlight, and is pretty damn cool.

Fierce Fiendish Brilliance allows you to BOTH be an Elemental Ascetic and gain the Dark Elementalist archetype, with free choice between Intelligence and Wisdom regarding the determination of what acts as key ability score modifier. This may be taken as a faith trait for adherents of evil deities, which makes sense, considering that it’s basically a multiarchetyping enabler – and before you scream that this is still too potent, if taken this way, it does come with a pretty extensive set of limitations and modifications. I liked this.

The pdf also contains 2 vigilante archetypes – the gore fiend is a vigilante with an evil vigilante identity; the archetype loses vigilante specialization and instead gets a bite attack, and damaging targets nets viscera points – these may be used to enter unchained barbarian-style rages and select rage powers, with higher levels providing the means to auto-cannibalize. Viscera may be used at higher levels for limited healing etc. Kudos: No kittens were harmed during the making of this archetype, i.e. you can’t cheese it by eaten harmless, cute animals. Rot Fiend is a feat for the gore fiend, which lets you gain viscera from undead. I like this one. Hellion vigilantes are the damned that have somehow escaped – they have one last chance at redemption (or existence) and may use hellfire. Annoyingly, this one of the archetypes that still hasn’t learned that there is no such thing as profane damage in PFRPG, which pretty much immediately disqualifies it for me. They use this make-believe energy type to enhance weapons, curse targets, etc. – nothing remarkable, and frankly, not worth the hassle of being riled up about the damage type.

The order of the blood knight cavalier order, on the other hand, is pretty cool: Unable to grant mercy, these fellows are bleeding specialists and can hijack the healing of challenge targets and cause bleeding to those nearby. Nasty and neat. The riven medium essentially gets a variation of dual identity that focuses on personality traits and alignment instead, representing compartmentalized component of nasty psychological traits. The archetype can tap into this power and manifest it to enhance spells to e.g. deal bleed damage, and being in mortal danger may see this personality surface. This does render the character more susceptible to evil effects, but we have DR and DC-increases to make up for this. Really enjoyed this engine-tweak with its unique roleplaying angle.

There are two class options presented for characters holding strong to their ideals, the first of which would be the grail knight paladin, who gets to choose an outsider subtype to detect, as though with detect demons, and may detect the chosen subtype via detect evil. This replaces third level’s mercy. Divine health is replaced with the Worldwound counting as favored terrain and immunity to the tainted plague. Channeling is tweaked to heal good and harm evil outsiders, and smite evil’s 4th, 10th and 16trh level uses are replaced with a favored enemy style passive boost versus the chosen evil outsider. Divine bond is replaced with the ability to designate a forged, holy cup as a grail-simulacrum,, which can enhance healing. Its duration may also be expended in a rather wide variety of ways that include SPs, anointing weaponry, etc. Mercy-synergy is also provided with it, and divine bond is relegated to 9th level, with the same level also enhancing attacks versus the chosen outsiders. All in all, one of the better nemesis-style archetypes.

Moon howlers are summoners with diminished spellcasting and a quadruped eidolon resembling a moon dog, with an obviously modified summon monster list. The archetype loses (greater) shield ally and merge forms with the ability to lick the wounds of targets, healing them with scaling effects, and the (greater) aspect as well as maker’s call and transposition abilities are replaced with a scaling array of howl-based supernatural effects that are balanced via a hex-caveat and and the use of summon monster SPs as a limited resource.

A massive section of the pdf is devoted to so-called cursed archetypes that begin play impoverished and with a minor penalty to saves, but also skill boosts and some spells added to spell list. Druid, shaman, bloodrager, kineticist, investigator, medium, mesmerist, occultist, psychic, sorcerer, spiritualist, sumnmoner and witch are provided, and oracle curse would be a leitmotif that may be found here, with the druid becoming a spontaneous spellcaster and gaining a witch patron being the most pronounced modification here – this is essentially an engine-tweak chapter, and one that I generally enjoyed.

Now, I’ve already touched upon quite a few of the feats from said chapter, but I should also mention the one that makes you a survivor of aforementioned tainted plague (which is btw. statted for your edification as a hazard); it is, alongside Thrallborn, Warped Mind and Twisted Flesh, one of the feats that basically help contextualize a character’s starting angle,as they are 1st-level only feats.

Blazing Bolts Against the Darkness requires being a Gray Paladin, but allows for the taking of divine hunter as an archetype as well; and with Oathbound, you can have further multiclass synergy with classes like slayer, inquisitor or gunslinger (if you have Mysterious Stranger). Dark Forces Adept would be another multiclass enabler, allowing you to use arcane pool, grit, ki, panache or touch of corruption interchangeably, and also nets some SPs with these resources. It should be pretty evident that this allows you to escalate resources fast – I’m not a fan, and would relegate this to NPCs only. (Granted, it’s only for non-good characters, but still…) Comprehend the Corrupted is narrative gold and allows you to determine whether someone would be swayed to your side, the motivations of the target, etc. Cruel Kiss of Thunder is a massive feat for antipaladins, druids or cityskin warlocks with the proper domains and feats, netting you cantrips, the modification of touch of corruption to deal half electricity damage and inflict bonus conditions, and also synergy of domains and bloodlines. Thrashing Heart of the Shockwave builds on that and nets you the Dark Force Adept feat as well as a further synergy there.Sorcerous Damnation provides a similarly complex operation, providing a crossover between Eldritch Heritage and antipaladin abilities. Fiendfoe is a bland anti-evil-outsider feat to identify them better and deal more damage to them. Not a fan. Flesh of Many Skins is a really cool wild shape tweak that lets you quickly change shapes and nets you partial swarm traits due to your rapidly-shifting proto-bestial form – however, this does also make you susceptible to AoE attacks. Redeemed Scoundrel nets you a couple of skill bonuses and two rogue class skills or a rogue talent.

There are also two complex feats for Pazuzu-adherents – Senses of the Shrike and Awareness of Dark Winds, which make you aware of your title/name being uttered, with such fools also suffering from you getting bonuses, treating them as studied target or favored enemy, and you may denote them as quarry; oh, and you may eat such fools to know when they first heard or read your name. This can make for a truly frightening, awesome villain. Love them! Warp Sense makes you potentially aware of teleportation and allows you to prevent teleportation-based ambushes. Useful one!

The pdf features two magic items – razor claw guards and razor mouthguard, which basically net you pseudo-natural attacks that may enhanced as a whole. Decent, but not mind-blowing.

The final section deals with feats based on a new one – Bright-Burning Super-Sanity, which requires that you can accept Burn. It allows you to mitigate Burn by one or more points, but when you do, you roll on a d20 table – these may entail becoming super-honest, a random phobia, language-loss, etc. – a phobia and obsession table is provided as well. One issue: I think defining “Mind Burn” would make sense - I don’t think I know what that’s supposed to be. I assume Burn applying to a mental ability score. The feats building on this allow for rolling twice (or choosing a 16), and the second lets you also roll a d8, gaining one of 7 (is there one missing?) effects. The 7th effect also lacks italics in the header, and a spell-reference is not italicized here.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting on a rules language and formal level are good, though not as good as usual for Legendary Games – there are quite a few missing formatting components (such as spell-references) and quite a few class feature-references that are nonstandard; considering the density of the rules presented here, those can make thing slightly more challenging for the user than they need to be. Layout adheres to the two-column full-color standard of the Wrath of the Righteous plugins (personally, my least favorite of LG’s layout templates so far), and the pdf sports a variety of full-color artworks that will be familiar to fans of LG. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Clinton Boomer, Jason Nelson, Carl Cramér, N. Jolly and Julian Neale are all veterans that regularly feature among my higher rated design supplements, and it shows here – the supplement juggles exceedingly complex concepts, and Clinton Boomer’s feats, which while always awesome, sometimes blow past the realms of the sensible, have remained more grounded this time around. The multiclass enhancing for character class combos is generally appreciated, and the archetypes (with the exception of the sucky hellion) tend to be pretty amazing and conceptually interesting. All in all, I consider this to be an interesting and fun expansion, one with a few filler feats that particularly stand out next to Clinton’s complexity-monsters, but nonetheless a book with a strong focus, well worth a final verdict of 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



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

Add to Bards and Sages RPG Resource Order

Legendary Races - Wyrmtouched
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/05/2019 10:30:19

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This supplement clocks in at 46 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 28 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

So, what are wyrmtouched? As you could glean from the structure of the denoting compound, wyrmtouched are essentially a novel take on the draconic-heritage race; instead of assuming a singular cultural heritage, the race adheres to a similar origin paradigm as planetouched races, resulting in wyrmtouched being born to parents of different races, provided they have the requisite traces of draconic blood in their ancestry. The write-up thus assumes parental races for the physical vital characteristics, and then presents to provide the notes on alignment, adventuring, etc.

Racial stat-wise, the wyrmtouched have +2 Strength and Wisdom, -2 Dexterity, are Medium and are humanoids with the dragonkin subtype (properly codified, just fyi). They get a +2 racial bonus to Perception, and a properly codified primary bite attack for 1d6 damage. They have both darkvision and low-light vision, and a +2 racial bonus on saves vs. magical sleep effects and paralysis, and regarding creature type, they are treated as dragons. They also receive resistance 5 against the damage type of their supernatural breath weapon. This is chosen from among the 4 core energy types, and is either a 15-foot cone or a 30-foot line that may be used Constitution modifier times per day, minimum 1, inflicting 1d6 + Constitution modifier damage of the chosen energy type. 4th level and every 4 levels thereafter increase the damage output of the breath weapon by +1d6. All in all, a potent race, but one that I#d allow in all my games. Kudos!

A total of 17 different alternate racial traits are provided, and include natural armor instead of resistance, a powerful tail (properly codified) instead of resistance and low-light vision, and instead of breath and resistance, you can be Large. You could have vast lifespans, or get +1 HP per level at the cost of reduced speed and the loss of draconic resistance. You could also be Small, and application of these traits to generate sub-races is provided. This section deserves applause, in that it shows a very keen awareness of the power of all racial abilities and their respective payoffs. There is one alternate trait that may require a bit of oversight for some games – wyrm wings nets you flight from level 1 onwards, but only at a clumsy maneuverability and 30 ft., with higher levels later increasing that. While this does cost breath weapon, I personally prefer the “needs to end movement on solid earth or fall”-angle for the levels up to 5th, but then again, I tend to be pretty conservative when it comes to unassisted PC flight at low levels. The race does come with its own vital statistics, just fyi. Want a wyrmtouched that is sourced from a specific dragon-class? Well, fret not – the supplement provides 8 (!!) different variant wyrmtouched, each with their own ability score modifiers, and they replace the racial Perception skill boost with another skill. Huge kudos: None of the options here are lopsided or jeopardize the intricate balance of the base race.

The supplement also provides a total of 12 different traits, all of which are properly grouped in trait categories. They allow for e.g. the sue of Wisdom instead of Constitution as governing ability score for wyrmtouched racial abilities, enhanced maneuverability with wings, increased DCs, etc. – the traits per se are in line with the proper power-level for them, and remain viable options that alter the experience of playing a wyrmtouched in a meaningful way – in short, they are really nice examples of what you can do with them. The race also features a massive list of well-crafted favored class options for all Paizo classes (excluding ninja + samurai) – yes, this includes the ones from ACG and OA, as well as the vigilante and shifter. As a nice piece of service for folks like yours truly, the latter one’s write-up does provide an option to tweak it for the imho superior Legendary Shifter.

So, that would be the racial base-line, but we’re not even close to covering the amount of material featured within this book: The authors have obviously understood that, particularly for a race with an eclectic background like the wyrmtouched, there is a necessity to not just present them and let them stand as is; instead, the book realizes that a race ought to be more than just a write-up of a rules, that there is more to them. As such, the book explains the psychology and physiology of the wyrmtouched in commendable detail, as well as their culture. Note that this is not simply a section of background material – oh no! We do get notes on breath artistry duels (including the rules to supplement them!), a great narrative tool that makes sense on so many levels. I love it! From fashion to the relationship with magic to funerary customs, the book manages to present a truly encompassing and plausible, captivating portrayal of the race, with a sample community and even advice on adapting the race to your campaign provided! I was positively surprised in many ways by how well this whole section was presented.

The pdf includes a single race-exclusive archetype, the breath savant brawler, who needs to both have a breath weapon and a bite attack to select the archetype. In place of unarmed strike, these fellows increase the damage output of the breath weapon, as per its own table. EDIT: So, I read as a glitch what was intended design paradigm - the breath savant increases the base damage die of the breath weapon, and said increase may include multiple dice that function as a singular base damage die. This changes the tone of the archetype drastically and makes it solely suitable for higher-powered games - for my games, this'd be labeled over-powered and banned. HOWEVER, my initial reading that mistook base damage die increases of the breath weapon increase as the total actually makes for a super-easy way to retain the archetype even in lower-powered games without requiring design work by the GM. The breath savant may decide to change damage type inflicted by the breath weapon via martial flexibility, and treats [breath] feats as combat feats for the purpose of the ability. Instead of brawler’s flurry, we have Unbound Breath Weapon (which allows you to use your breath weapon every other round and should have, imho, a minimum level such as 3rd or so – the archetype ignores prerequisites, so it’s weird that it gets the feat later, and unlimited breath with just one round of cooldown can be pretty potent) and Combat Breath Weapon (which lets you use the breath weapon as either part of an attack action, or as part of casting a spell with a casting time of 1 standard action, with the latter requiring the expenditure of a swift action; this feat has a 5th-level prerequisite, so here, the prerequisite ignoring makes sense) as bonus feats at 2nd level, with 6th level and every 6 levels thereafter allowing for the addition of an additional melee attack at cumulative -3 penalties when taking the attack action. 4th level replaces maneuver training with Flowing Breath – this feat eliminates Unbound Breath Weapon’s one-round cooldown and is situated at 3rd level prerequisites; note that, since the base breath weapon has the one-minute cooldown as well, this applies to both Unbound and non-unbound weaponry, in the former case unlocking unlimited breath weapons as soon as 3rd level. The AC bonus is replaced with +1 natural armor that increases further at 9th, 13th and 18th level. Knockout is replaced with torrent breath, 1/day maximizing breath weapon and increasing DCs by +2, with an additional daily use gained at 9th level and every 5 levels thereafter. 5th, 9th, 12th and 17th level make the natural attacks count as specific materials (scaling makes sense) for the purpose of overcoming DRs, replacing brawler’s strike. Instead of close weapon mastery, we have a bite attack damage increase based on breath weapon. While I’m not happy with unlimited AoE-attacks here, the archetype is pretty neat and probably won’t break the game of groups that do not adhere to a low and very conservative power-level.

The pdf also contains 4 other archetypes that may be taken by any race, but are particularly suited for wyrmtouched. One of these is the dragon touched, originally intended for the Legendary Shifter – the pdf notes that it may be rather strong for the regular shifter, and I concur with the assessment, adding just my 2 cents: You should be using the superior and more fun Legendary Shifter anyways. ;P Kidding aside, this guy is pretty much what it says on the tin – a shifter archetype that focuses on assuming draconic forms, using complex variations of form of the dragon as a baseline.

The dragon champion vigilante modifies dual identity (retaining archetype compatibility) to instead have a draconic identity, with the archetype sporting a significant amount of different, exclusive vigilante talents that include a bite attack enhancer (which stacks with keen et al. – not a fan), an anti-dragon attack that works in conjunction with options from Asian Archetypes: Martial and Legendary Villains: Vigilantes, a Dazzling Display variant, a breath weapon (and another one for an upgrade), and wings (locked behind an appropriate minimum level). All in all, a nice one.

The scaled scion is a magus archetype, who gains an arcanist’s spellcasting, governed by Charisma (making it work in conjunction with the Legendary Magus), and the armor proficiency abilities are replaced with natural armor bonus and resistance, as governed by energy resistance. The final archetype would be the wyrm researcher alchemist, who alters mutagen to instead provide natural armor and energy resistance corresponding to the character’s associated dragon bloodline; the character has a reduced bomb damage, and instead of 2nd level’s discovery, we get claws, with 6th level gaining wings sans duration while under the mutagen. Minor nitpick: Here is an erroneous reference to feral mutagen instead of wyrm heart. 8th level provides the means to choose two unique discoveries (for bomb/breath admixture), and poison immunity is replaced with wing attacks and 18th level nets immunity to the chosen element instead of poison.

The pdf provides a rather massive feat chapter, with aforementioned [Breath] feats allowing for various modifications of the base engine, often at the cost of base damage die of breath weapons – we can find e.g. the addition of negative conditions of breath weapons. Cool: One of the alternate racial traits nets you blindsense 5 ft. – with a feat, you can close your eyes and extend that range. It’s so simple, but I love the visuals. Breath Weapon Admixture is obvious in what it does; Breath Weapon Artisan allows the character to modify the breath weapon to change the area of effect of the breath weapon. Lacing weapons with breath weapon energy, excluding spaces from it, gaining minor DR, a climb speed, no longer requiring a free hand for spell combat – quite a lot of options here. Particularly notable: Drake Style not only has 2 feats based on it, but 5! The base Drake Style allows for wall-running (awesome) with a variant of attacking during the movement. The follow-up feats allow for the use of Drake Style in conjunction with living creatures, and you can catapult off of objects to further increase heights; higher levels allow for the addition of penalized attacks, etc. - Cool style!!

The chapter also includes a Vital Strike/bite synergy, for example – but there is more: The book has a whole sub-chapter devoted to legendary drakes – basically a companion engine for drakes. These guys only have head, headband, eyes, shoulder, neck, body, chest and 2 ring slots and do NOT count as animal companions. If they die, you do NOT gain a replacement. It takes years to gain a drake’s trust, thus making this a companion you do not want to throw into the meatgrinder.

The legendary drake companion requires a two-feat investment, with the first being a lame skill-enhancer that nets you a language and a better starting attitude for draconic beings. Their power is further capped by requiring additional feats to progress towards certain HD-caps. Legendary drakes have ¾ HD-progression (capped by the feat-based limits), ¾ BAB-progression, all saves progress to +9 over the 20 levels, and the companion has d12 HD. Skill ranks start as 3, and increase to 60 at 20th level. The companion begins with a feat and gains up to 8 feats over the course of the companion progression.

The drake companion begins play with darkvision and low-light vision, as well as immunity to sleep and paralysis effects. The drake increases natural AC by +2 at 3rd level and every 3 levels thereafter, and ability score increases happen at 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter. 6th, 13th and 20th level net a size increase. At 1st level and every 4 levels thereafter, the legendary drake gets to choose a drake power from a massive list. Here, we can find aligned damage, breathing in water, breath weaponry and further power-upgrades thereof, swim speed, climb speed, etc. The selection also features a variety of asterisk’d powers that modify the bite attack of the drake. Only one of these may be applied per bite, and yes, there is a feat that lets the drake choose an extra drake power. There are variant rules provided for agile drakes, better armored ones, and construct and undead drakes, with the latter two thankfully taking some serious hits regarding their base stats to account for the immunities and powers bestowed by their states. Serving as a mount does btw. require a drake power, and the pdf does include, aptly, a magic saddle for drake riders. The reduction harness is an all but required item, as it allows you to take your drake, you know, actually with you into that dungeon? Considering the steep penalty for losing a drake, a kind of drake extra life, the drake heart is certainly an item you should purchase/craft, and finally, there would be two iterations of drake’s crests which grant access to drake powers.

The pdf closes with Ti’ri Karn, a wyrmtouched brawler (breath savant) 5, who is unique – a wyrmtouched in her prime, living with humans has taught her the fragility of life and made her almost feels like a benevolent grandparent, a funny and pretty cool contrast to artwork and racial stereotypes. Her boon also highlights this, as she provides long-term care for friends and their animals alike.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are as a whole, very good on a formal and rules-language level. While there are a few minor components that can be construed to be hiccups, none really hampered the integrity of the rules provided. Layout adheres to legendary Games’ two-column full-color standard, with a blend of new and classic artworks provided for your edification. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Okay, to be honest, I didn’t really want to review this book. I’ve covered so many pseudo-draconic PC-races over the years, the concept quite frankly exhausts me and has lost pretty much all of its intrinsic appeal. I am happy to report that Loren Sieg, N. Jolly, Amber Underwood and Siobhan Bjorknas managed to actually put a new and creative spin on the concept. The notion of spontaneous exhibiting of draconic traits may be simple, but it’s actually one that provides a fresh take that colors the race in different shades. While the archetypes this time around did not exactly blow me away, and while some feats may require a bit of oversight for more conservative games, in its entirety, this is a surprising little triumph of a racial supplement. The flawless execution of the base race and its variants in particular in conjunction with the fact that the book devotes the time and space to make them actually feel like a race, like more than a combination of stats, must be applauded. In spite of my preconceptions and fatigue with the notion, I found myself actually charmed by the material within. The legendary drake companion, obviously intended for high fantasy, is a powerful, but not overbearing option for regular games, though one that, with its feat tax and steep danger making for a compelling angle.

Now, would I allow everything herein in all my campaigns? No. Particularly the stacking threat-range expanding is something that generally just needs to die a fiery death – and, obviously, this is not necessarily a supplement that I’d be using in a down-low and gritty dark fantasy game. But here’s the thing: The notion of draconic PCs and drake companions, to me, is inexorably linked with high fantasy; that’s clearly what the cadre of authors was going for, and that’s how I’ll rate this. And in this context? Heck yes, this is a resounding success. 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legendary Races - Wyrmtouched
Click to show product description

Add to Bards and Sages RPG Resource Order

Star Empires
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/27/2019 12:02:57

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This massive supplement clocks in at 100 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 1 page introduction, 2 pages of ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 91 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

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

Okay, so the tl;dr-version of this book would be that it’s Kingdom-building for Starfinder; as such, the supplement includes army, colony and empire record sheets in the back – nice to see them included!

Okay, so, regarding terminology: A Sector is a significant area, which should be at least a 12-mile diameter hexagon; a District is a region, neighborhood, etc. – a Sector can contain up to 100 Districts. A Colony is pretty much that – it can be a village, a metropolis, etc. – it must contain at least one District; for every District beyond the first, the Consumption increases by 1 BP. A District can also hold up to 36 Modules – this is the smallest size that something that has a serious impact oin society can have; it could be a home, a specialized planetoid, etc.

Time is measured in Turns – each of these roughly equates to one month. A Moment usually represents one day; both of these are not cast in stone, though – it is perfectly possible to engage in empire-building over centuries. A Turn contains 30 of these Moments.

Every empire has four stats – Economy, Loyalty, Stability and Unrest; these are also the basis for the respective checks – roll a d20, add the respective stat, done. As before, BP is the measure of abstract resources; BP are paid on a Turn-basis, as denoted by consumption, and the Control DC of an Empire action or situation has a basis of 20 + Size in Sectors + total number of Districts in all Colonies + special modifiers. Population is abstract, and Size represents the number of Sectors an empire has – a new one has a Size of 1. Treasury denoted the amount of BP the empire may access, and dipping into the negatives there increases unrest.

We begin with choosing an ethos (which is opposed by another) – these increase either Loyalty or Economy by +2. This ethos may be changed by leaders during the Edict Phase, and slots left open net a bonus to Stability instead. Minor nitpick: This erroneously refers to Ethos as trait once, which confused me for a second.

A leader has a Rulership Bonus (RB) that starts at 0 and increases by +1 for every 6 levels, for every 5 ranks in a relevant skill, for having an appropriate feat, or for having an exceptional (+3 or greater) ability score bonus in the relevant ability score. The leader positions are ruler, ambassador, chief justice, chief technologist, general, head of security, high priest, magister, space warden, speaker, spymaster and treasurer. Optional roles included are consort, successor and viceroy. As before, vacancy penalties are included.

An empire’s Turn sequence is as follows: Pase 1 is the Upkeep Phase – you make a Stability check, and on a success, you decrease Unrest by 1 – if your Unrest would be decreased below 0, you gain 1 BP.; on a failure of less than 5, you increase Unrest by 1; if you fail by 5 or more, you instead increase Unrest by 1d4. Then, you subtract Consumption from the treasury; if treasury becomes negative, you increase Unrest by 2. Unrest also increases by 1 for every Empire attribute that is negative. The Enforcer, if present, may attempt to reduce Unrest during this step. Having an Unrest of 11 or more makes the empire lose one Sector.ö Unrest of 20 means you fall into Collapse, which prevents taking actions and makes all Empire attributes behave as though they were 0.

Phase 2 is the Edict Phase . vacant leadership positions are assigned, and Sectors are claimed. A Sector must be adjacent to at least one other Sector. The Sector to be claimed must be explored, cleared of monsters or hazards; thereafter, you spend 1 BP to claim the Sector. You may also abandon Sectors to reduce Empire Size, but this does increase Unrest by 1 for every Sector abandoned, by 4 if the Sector contained a Colony. In a claimed Sector, you can prepare the construction of a Colony, which requires paying the Preparation Cost. You can construct Infrastructure in your Colonies, which apply benefits to the empire. Then, you issue edicts.

During Phase 3, the Income Phase, you can spend credits to increase BP, collect taxes (determined by taxation edicts) – this Phase deals with filling your treasury. Phase 4, the Event Phase, has a 25% chance of an event occurring; if no event occurred during the previous Turn, this chance rises to 75%. So, that’s the basic Turn-sequence.

Edicts fall into several categories: Expansion edicts, armament edicts, holiday edicts, improvement edicts, recruitment edicts and taxation edicts. These are generally self-explanatory and feature their own tables, though recruitment deserves special mention – It is based on a Loyalty check, with the CR (Army Challenge Rating) capping at a Colony’s Capability score.

This brings me to Colonies – these have an alignment, and 5 attributes: Capability, Culture, Defense, Law and Supply. These are generally equal to the colony’s level, but are modified by forms of government (8 provided) and infrastructure. Colony-levels are determined by the amount of BP invested in them, with a handy table provided. Speaking of whioch: I already touched upon founding a colony, and indeed, proper time-frames for exploration, preparation, etc. are provided by region – establishing a Colony in the void of space requires less exploration, but is BP-wise more costly to prepare for than, say, doing the same in wetlands. Farm, Road and Mine costs are provided, and beyond the topography, the richness of the respective biome and the atmosphere also impact costs and behavior of the Colony. This sounds complex, but once you’ve grasped it, is a pretty smooth process.

Special terrain features like ruins, free colonies and the like are included in the engine as well. The pdf then proceeds to go through the vast amount of types of infrastructure you can generate, with higher levels in each category costing more BP and more modules. Each such type of infrastructure also presents a category boon for the Colony. The system is simple and easy to grasp. The events follow a similar paradigm, differentiating between empire and colony events that could affect a Sector, a Colony, and some of them, like Plagues, may remain continuous until dealt with.

The basic system is cleanly and tightly presented, but if you’re like me, you may want more out of this book – and it gladly obliges, providing a serious set of advanced rules. Colony size modifier based on Empire Size, Commission edicts, diplomatic relationships (which become harder, the more different the ethos of the parties is from one another) include treaties, alliances, embassies and the like – all covered. Endowment edicts allows for a focus on art and learning, sponsoring certain infrastructures; espionage and exploration – you get the idea.

An empire also starts with fame or infamy 1 (ruler’s choice) and every level 3 or 4 infrastructure increases fame or infamy by 1; a level 5 infrastructure instead increases your choice of either by 2. At certain Size thresholds, these values also increase. For every 10 points accrued, your citizens gain a Diplomacy or Intimidate bonus. Festival edicts take place in a specific Colony, and are concisely defined – as is a suggested array of XP-gains for leadership. Declaring Independence and Unification are also found.

Trade deserves special mention: Establishing a trade route increases your BP every Turn. In order to deal with these, you add together the Moments of exploration you require for a trade route – the total is the Trade Route length (TRL); divided by 10, this is the RM (Route Modifier); TRL minus empire’s Size to get the Length Modifier (LM). Establishing a route takes 1 Turn, and establishing one costs at least 5 BP. The first time a colony is reached thus, you must make an Economy, Loyalty and Stability check, with the DC equal to Control DC + RM +LM – BP spent provisioning the expedition. 2 success are required to establish the route; 3 fails = total failure, 3 successes a grand success. A Trade Route provides its benefits for 10 Turns, and deals with Food, Goods, or Raw Materials.

Rules for vassal states are also provided, just fyi. Handling empire expansion and encounters is covered, and topography generators and random means to quickly establish empires and colonies may also be found. Several sample empires are provided.

The book also deals with warfare. ;V, RV, DV, Morale – the system operates smoothly and analogue to PFRPG’s rules. Army sizes range from 1 – 10, are abstract, and have a number of divisions based on size, Hit Points based on size, and the ACR is determined by the CR of constituent creatures. The mass combat rules follow a similar, classic paradigm, with abstract battle zones featured – we have a camp zone, a command zone, a ranged zone and a melee zone. We have overall strategies and 5 battle phases – Recon, Tactical, Gunnery, Melee and Rout phase. Bloodied (below half HP), Defeated (0 HP), Destroyed and Disbanded (0 Morale, failed Loyalty check) are provided. Costs for army equipment are grouped by tier, with costs provided and a serious array of different tactics provided. The supplement also accounts for the talents of special commanders, and a massive array of boons included. Some of these are permanent – they are designated with a (P), but t5ehre also are ones designated with a (A) – this is not properly explained, but I’m pretty sure that this only applies to a single army. I may be wrong, though. Cool: The engine has accounted for SFRPG’s critical effects in the serious list of special abilities available, and from envoy improvisations to technomancer hacks, there are quite a few cool options here.

Extended time in the field, covering travel, living off the land, battlefield terrains and the like – a metric ton of awesome material here! The book also contains a massive amount of sample armies for your convenience.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are very good on a formal level (minor note, for example: The colony record sheet erroneously refers to modules as “lots”) and on a rules language level. Layout adheres to a really nice two-column full-color standard, and the book offers quite an array of nice full-color artworks. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience, and the sheets are also included as separate pdfs.

Matt Daley and Jason Nelson deliver big time here – this is the inspired means to weave truly grand narratives among the stars. While the starship/mass combat synergy has been relegated to another supplement, this is still one amazing, glorious supplement. There are a few instances where e.g. stating explicitly that, if not noted, an infrastructure takes up one module would have been nice, and the (A) hiccup noted similarly could have used explicit mentioning. That out of the way, these are ultimately nitpicks in a truly inspired, amazing supplement – if you liked kingdom-building. If you didn’t like the system, then this will obviously not convert you, but as far as I’m concerned, it is amazing to see this book so soon in SFRPG’s life-cycle! For me as a person, this is a truly grand and fun offering – my final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval, and this does receive my EZG Essentials-tag for SFRPG-campaigns that seek to tell sweeping stories of empires and civilizations rising and falling in the vastness of space; as such, it also is a candidate for my Top Ten of 2018.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Star Empires
Click to show product description

Add to Bards and Sages RPG Resource Order

Legendary Magus
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/26/2019 06:17:31

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Legendary Classes-series clocks in at 40 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 1 page introduction, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 32 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

This review was requested to be moved up in my reviewing queue at the request of my patreon supporters.

All right, we begin pretty much immediately with the class-redesign, the legendary magus. The legendary magus gets d8 HD, 4 + Int skills per level, proficiency with simple and martial weapons as well as with light AND medium armors, with no spellcasting failure from the get-go. The legendary magus remains a prepared spellcaster with spellcasting governed by Intelligence and the magus-spell-list. A legendary magus may spontaneously apply metamagic feats to spells cast, with the casting time increase you’d associate with the sorcerer. HOWEVER, the legendary magus may ALSO prepare spells with metamagic feats in advance, as usual for prepared spellcasters. This is a genuinely interesting tweak from the get-go, one that makes metamagic feats much more compelling for the class. It should also be noted that the casting process of the legendary magus is akin to the arcanist – prepared spells, spontaneous casting. Spells prepared day, as before, at 5, but the tweaked spellcasting engine necessitates a spells prepared addition to the table, which caps out at 6 on each level save 5th and 6th, where 5 spells prepared represent the cap.

The class gets a codified “eldritch tome” as a kind of special spellbook, and the book has half the magus’ hit points. If destroyed, it reappears among the magus’ possessions on the next dawn. It doubles as the spellbook, but also grants a linear ability progression – more on that later. The class begins play with Arcane Strike as a bonus feat, and may activate it as a free action, but only at the beginning of her turn. At 3rd level, Riving Strike is granted as a bonus feat and Arcane Strike used in conjunction with the Vital Strike feat-chain multiplies the Arcane Strike damage by the number of times the Vital Strike chain makes her roll damage dice. This thankfully does not stack with other Arcane Strike multiplying abilities.

The class gets ¾ BAB-progression and good Will-saves. It should be noted that something has gone horribly wrong in the Fort-save column of the class, with several entries being obviously incorrect – unless the save is supposed to actually decrease and increase time and again, I suggest instead looking at the Reflex-save column.

At 1st level, the legendary magus gets arcane potential – the ability to harness residual energy of spells she has cast. The magus starts the day with no potential, but gains potential when she casts a magus spell, whenever she begins the round under the effects of a magus spell of 1st level or higher (the spell needs to affect her, not her gear), and whenever the legendary magus takes damage from a spell or spell-like ability or has to make a saving throw against a harmful spell or spell-like ability. The latter spell/SP-related components yields 2 potential instead of one. Potential caps at Intelligence modifier, minimum 1, and maximum potential increases at 3rd level and every 3 levels thereafter by +1. Potential may only be gained in combat, which made me sigh, only to be happy soon thereafter. Two reasons for that: 1) It is lost if you spend more than one minute outside of combat and 2), the pdf explicitly provides a sidebar that disallows the exploits this would otherwise allow for. As a minor nitpick: I do believe that cantrips should be disqualified for providing arcane potential, which they RAW are only for the buffing caveat (nice!) – when a cantrip prompts a save, though, the legendary magus can still earn a hefty two points. Minor nitpick, though, as the obvious exploit’s been taken care of.

Said potential can be employed in a variety of ways, and, unless otherwise noted, can be used as a free action, but no more than once per round per potential technique. At 1st level, we have the means to, as an immediate action, grant a +1 circumstance bonus to AC to the magus or an adjacent ally. Somewhat weird: While this is listed as costing 1 potential, it seems to imply the option to pay with more potential for greater bonuses to AC. I assume this to be no glitch, design-wise, but explicitly stating such would have been preferable. The second option takes a swift action and bestows a +4 bonus to concentration checks against being injured by a specific target creature and for casting in said creature’s threatened area. Thirdly, there is the means to pay 1 potential to gain +1 to atk and damage until the start of the next turn. For 2 potential, the magus may, as part of a move, withdraw or charge, step through space for up to 10 feet per 2 potential spent to a location within line of sight – this is a teleportation and as such, ignores obstacles and similar things, and charge targets may be determined after the teleport. This is a favorite of mine, as it makes the legendary magus a capable, though not overbearing skirmisher from the get-go. The second 2-potential option allows the legendary magus to enhance Arcane Strike with a +1d4 bonus damage of its usual damage type until the start of the magus’ next turn, which increases by a further +1d4 per 5 class levels attained. These bonus dice are multiplied in conjunction with Vital Strike’s feat-chain according to the same guidelines that apply to Arcane Strike as mentioned before.

8th level unlocks a second array of arcane potential-based techniques. For 1 potential, we have the option to fluidly change the core energy type damage inflicted, and the means to enhance touch AC and saving throws versus spells. For 2 potential, we have the means to spontaneously apply metamagic sans casting time increase (the ability header isn’t properly bolded here). The second 2-potential ability allows for the modulation of a magus spells’ range, and there is the means to execute spell combat as a standard action. For 3 potential, we have the means to create an arcane 5 ft. by 5 ft. barrier, granting cover. This reminded me of one particular archetype by Jason Linker I rather liked. Secondly, as a swift action, we have the means to flicker to any adjacent square for the purpose of originating attacks and effects. Interesting.

Spell combat’s verbiage now lacks the TWFing reference, and the ability is now employed for one-handed weapons exclusively, removing the potential clusterf*** that two-handed light weapons could create with the whole engine set-up. 4th level nets Combat Casting, and 5th level and every 3 levels thereafter a bonus feat, to be chosen from combat, item creation and metamagic feats. At 7th level, magi no longer provoke AoOs when casting 1st level magus spells, and ability that extends one spell level farther at 10th level and every 3 levels thereafter – this is smart, as it generates a motivation to keep casting lower-level spells. Additionally, the magus is treated as a fighter – 4 levels for the purpose of prerequisites. 7th level nets spell recall, which is now powered by arcane potential, costing 3 potential per spell level, and the ability notes that recalls can’t be chained, and that such recalled spells do not generate potential – a crucial balancing component here. 16th level decreases the cost this ability has to twice the spell’s level in potential. The capstone allows for the use of spell combat as a standard action (which makes the rapid spell combat ability somewhat obsolete), and combine that with full attacks that are accompanied by one of 4 different short-term buffs.

Now, I previously noted the eldritch tome as a source of a linear ability progression, and indeed, each type of eldritch tome provides a total of 4 abilities over the class’s progression: At 1st, 3rd, 9th and 15th level, new abilities are unlocked. 8 such tomes are provided. In all brevity: The tome of the bulwark nets shield proficiency, the ability to store spells in shields and deliver them with e.g. a shield bash, applies shield bonus to touch AC and grants it to adjacent allies and at the highest level, extends the effects in a small radius beyond her immediate range. This one also has the ability to intercept attacks. The tome of the deadeye would be the ranged option – the interesting component here would be that the like would be ridiculously OP for a regular magus. This one allows for the substitution of ranged weapon range for spell range, after all. However, in the context of the legendary magus, while clocking it at one of the more potent options, it does remain within the parameters. Why? Well, in case you haven’t noticed it: The legendary magus got rid of frickin’ spellstrike in favor of actually useful and flexible combat options. That is a huge plus for me, as it liberates the class from its niche of fishing for potent critical hits. The book also does something right, in that it rewards the use of e.g. crossbows and the like with faster reload speeds, meaning that there, for once, is not a penalty for choosing them as your preferred weapon. On the downside, I am not a big fan of the means to expend spells for bonus damage that just flat-out ignores DR – this should imho scale through the DR-types by level.

The tome of the duelist allows for the use of Dexterity to calculate atk, and Intelligence to calculate damage, and it receives a defensive option for spell combat that grants concealment, including the means to execute counter-attacks sourced from AoOs. Cool! The tome of the Gemini is all about TWFing, while the tome of the juggernaut would be the two-handed weapon option that also enhances charges and concentration. The tome of the magister may be, as a physical object, be used as a kind of shield and also bestows limited access to sorcerer/wizard spells. The idea here is the weaponized book, including means to use it for shield bashes and the like – interesting. The tome of the pugilist is, unsurprisingly given the name, the unarmed combat option, including a spell combat/flurry combo and immediate action counters and bonus damage at higher levels. The speardancer’s tome is another two-handed weapon specialist ability array, but one that focuses on Lunge, Whirlwind Attack and similar soft crowd control options. Like this one particularly, considering that arcane potential enhances skirmishing capabilities pretty much from the get-go.

Now, 3rd level and every 3 levels thereafter net a magus arcana, of which there are more than 50 presented. I assume that these adhere to the usual arcana rules, for, in a somewhat glaring oversight, the summary of class abilities fails to list the base engine of arcana…but then again, that text doesn’t offer too much anyway. Still, it made me confused for a second, and considering the fact that third level of the class table double-lists the magus arcana class feature and the table’s error in the Fort-save column, this kinda made me a bit anxious. For the purpose of this review, I am going to assume that 3rd level nets only one magus arcana.

So, first thing you’ll notice: There is a metric ton of them: From additional potential to ignoring load and gaining new potential techniques, the arcana SUDDENLY MATTER. Picture me raising my fists to the sky in glorious triumph there. I’m serious – of all the Paizo classes, I’d be hard-pressed to mention one that has talent-like abilities as boring and utterly bland as magus arcana, and the options herein thankfully seem to be cognizant of that fact and hell-bent on doing a better job. The load-based one lets you treat your Strength as higher; we have the means to gain heavy armor proficiency sans spell failure, a 3-potential bane, the option to blink weapons back when using Arcane Strike to throw them, multiclass synergy for the purpose of potential (locked behind an appropriate level cap), AoOs versus defensive casters (further enhancing the skirmishing angle) and more – and I’Ve only touched upon all there is herein. From vigilante social talents to limited spell-conversion, we have quite a few really cool and flavorful tricks. Some arcana also have the (blade)-tag, of which only one may be applied per round, and these include, among other things, lacing the weapon with elemental force. Personally, I do think that the ability that nets access to a 1st level tome ability should be locked behind at least 9th level, considering how the tomes, while not necessarily super-potent, allow for some serious et-up potential for combo-builds, but that may be me.

From a familiar to Gunsmithing and firearm proficiency to casting while transformed/polymorphed to using class level for CMB/CMD, there are a ton of options. Also nice: The class comes with 7 favored class options available for ALL races. These all are valid options and are in line regarding power.

Okay, let me say that clearly: I LOVE THIS CLASS. Its formal flaws notwithstanding the legendary magus is a vast improvement in flexibility over the base class. While I can probably out-DPR the legendary magus with its regular fellow, this class instead rewards you for doing something else each round, and it is useful in more contexts than singular, devastating attacks. This is a much more rewarding and modular playing experience, both regarding spellcasting, martial angle and the synergies thereof.

As a special treat for fans of Spheres of Power and Spheres of Might, we do receive a sidebar for use with these two sub-systems. Considering how the legendary magus radically changed the assumptions of the base class, how do the archetypes fare? Well, the Blade of Legend doesn’t get the lingering means of generating arcane potential and is locked out of a familiar, but the black blade receives its own potential pool that may be used to power its own scaling array of abilities. It’s obviously still sentient and has its own class table. The coiled viper is a Spheres of Might crossover archetype that features its own martial tradition as well as status as a Proficient practitioner using Intelligence as practitioner modifier, though this does strip them of the arcana at 6th level and every 6 levels thereafter, as well as the bonus feats at 8th and 14th level. They employ Toxin talents and may add alchemy-sphere poisons alongside spells, replacing the Arcana Strike ability suite. As poisonous whip specialists, they replace the tomes with a unique ability array, that combines soft crowd control with quick attacks; the capstone is also modified. The dragon fang gains enhanced skills and uses Charisma as the governing spellcasting ability score, with tomes being partially replaced with dragon apotheosis abilities that include a scaling, potential-based breath weapon and wings locked behin an appropriate level cap – basically the dragon-sorcerer archetype.

The drakeguard has a diminished spellcasting and replace spell combat with a drake companion; the tome is replaced with a custom ability suite that allows for potential technique sharing, including the means to split spell duration between herself and her steed, for example. Minor nitpick: In this and the previous archetype, there was an ability each that had its name not properly bolded. The First Magus has a bit of a druid-y vibe, including the option to call down lightning bolts on nearby targets. Something in layout or formatting has gone seriously wrong with the ability – while legible, it has a weird blank block in its middle, and lacks a whole bunch of blank spaces. Beast shape, Wisdom for casting and divine spellcasting sourced from ranger and druid (noting spell level discrepancies and clarifying that – kudos!) – you get the idea here. Similarly, the hexwielder would be, bingo, the witchy magus, with limited hex access and the means to debuff via a custom array of potential-based strikes, this one is interesting.

The legendary kensai is proficient in simple weapons and a single exotic melee weapon, but not armor or shields. We have Int to AC, diminished spellcasting and full BAB and iaijutsu style strikes, enhanced damage and the like. Perhaps it’s because I’m so fond of the concept, but personally, I do think this one would have warranted a bit more unique abilities – it’s not a bad archetype, but when compared to a few other versions of the kensai-idea, it felt a bit lackluster with its none-too-novel Vital Strike focus.

Ruinous blades are Spheres of Power-magi, Mid-Casters, and have the Destruction sphere with the Shape Focus drawback. They are locked into Energy Blade as the talent gained for the drawback and use class level to determine its effects. The potential engine is conversely modified to apply to the realities of the spheres-system and exchange, in a VERY limited and controlled manner that can’t be cheesed, potential for temporary spell points that are lost at the end of the turn.

Did you absolutely think that spellstrike was a good idea? There’s an archetype for you. There is a relatively simple Spheres of Might crossover archetype that doesn’t change much of the chassis. Easily the coolest archetype herein. Warp tempest, a short-burst teleportation specialist that allows you to go full-blown Dishonored on your enemies – personally, I’ll impose a generous, but hard cap or a cooldown on the daily uses of the teleport, but as a whole, I adore this one.

The pdf, as befitting of a book that features such significant tweaks to the base class engine, also presents 3 new feats: +1 arcana, increased Arcane Strike bonus damage, and reduction of a 2-or more-potential costing technique by 1. The pdf includes 4 different magic items that enhance e.g. Arcane Strike further than the gloves of arcane striking, and there are vambraces of pain that allow you to take continuous damage – which is great for magi (or anyone exploring the positive energy plane). The pdf also includes a special weapon ability that nets potential on crits, and an armor property that nets potential that needs to be spent or lost – the latter lacks all blank spacesmakingitkindahardtoreadeventhoughitsrulestextiscorrect. I am not the biggest friend of these magic items, as they trivialize the whole potential engine’s planning component, but that’s pretty much what they are supposed to do. They don’t break the game and this is just my personal opnion, though, and as such won’t influence the final verdict. We also get 4 nice spells (no complaints) and we do get a cool sample character – Iris Pageknife, a charming CR 5 gemini specialist.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting, on a rules-language level are very good – but the same can’t be said on a formal level. From missed bolding of ability names to weird blocks of blank space to missing blank spaces between words, this pdf feels oddly rushed in its formal presentation for a Legendary Games-supplement. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the pdf sports a bunch a cool full-color artworks, some of which you may have seen before, while others are entirely new. Weird and grating oversight that adds to the impression of this pdf’s formal properties being rushed: The book is missing bookmarks, which is highly uncommon for Legendary Games.

Dave Nelson and Hal Kennette have delivered a thoroughly impressive redesign of the magus here – it took some serious chutzpah to get rid (for the most part) of spellstrike and its baggage, and how the arcana have been killed with fire, only to rise as something much cooler from the ashes? Yeah, the legendary magus, as a whole, must be called a resounding success. The legendary magus play better than the original, is more versatile, and an all-out joy that gets rid of the linear focus that hamstrung the class previously. As a consequence of the massive engine-change, the most popular concepts needed to be translated, and this slightly hampered the pdf in the archetype chapter for me as a person: I prefer new stuff, particularly since the new material tended to be inspiring, but that’s just me and nothing I’ll hold against the pdf. I would have loved to see an occult magus as well, but once more, that’s just me.

What breaks my heart is that I can’t bestow the accolades upon this pdf that its genius class redesign would definitely deserve. After much rumination, I just can’t ignore the lack of bookmarks in conjunction with the formal glitches, which deprives the book of the lofty praise that would otherwise be its rightful due; I am, however, still very much in love with the class itself, and even though the formal glitches would warrant me doing so, I just can’t bring myself to rating this as anything below 4 stars – it’s just too good for that. For making the magus become truly distinct, this also receives, as one of the rare pdfs to do, my seal of approval for the class redesign, in spite of its formal shortcomings– design-wise, this remains a resounding success! Congratulations!

Endzeitgeist out.



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

Add to Bards and Sages RPG Resource Order

Legendary Brawlers
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/24/2019 06:09:54

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Legendary Classes-series clocks in at 34 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page introduction, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 27 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

Okay, so this supplement kicks off with an array of new archetypes for the brawler-class, with the first being the cannon-striker, who gets proficiency with simple weapons and firearms as well as light armor, treating brawler class levels as gunslinger and monk levels for the purpose of feat prerequisites and for the purpose of items. 1st level nets Gunsmithing and a battered firearm, replacing martial training and unarmed strikes. They are locked into bonus combat feats and may only execute ranged attacks with firearms as part of a brawler’s flurry, with -4 to atk and no Strength modifier added to damage. Problem here: This does not help with the reloading issues at low levels or the misfires. Knockout is replaced with a grit-less pistol-whip, which may be used in conjunction with the flurry, though imho, this should be exempt from the increased penalty incurred from the flurry-modification. Instead of brawler’s strike and close weapon mastery, we have the option to reload two-handed firearms as though they were one-handed, as well as immunity to being knocked prone from firing one. 12th level nets deadeye 1/day, and 17th level increases that to 3/day. Awesome Blow is altered to work in conjunction with the firearm instead.

The combat Sybil is a changeling racial archetype that gains medium spellcasting at one fewer spell per day per level, governed by Charisma; 1st level nets mage hand as a knack, 13th level telekinesis as a 4th level spell. Martial telekinesis and telekinetic maneuver are added as 3rd level spells to the spell-list, but aren’t gained automatically. The archetype receives a witch patron, gaining spells at 3rd,8th,13th and 18th level, treating the spells as spell-levels 1st to 4th instead, replacing maneuver training. The combat Sybil treats brawler levels as fighter levels, and the combat Sybil doesn’t gain claws. Here is the unique thing about these guys: They replace the AC bonus with the means to give up the first attack of a flurry to use mage hand or sustained force telekinesis (if available!) to extend the range of the flurry attacks, codifying these attacks properly as ranged attacks, using Charisma instead of Strength or Dexterity as governing key ability modifier. The weapon returns to her hand, and the complex rules-operation is executed properly, and if the character has access to aforementioned optional spells, the feature gains additional, related options. Knockout may be used in conjunction with these, and the awesome blow sequence and brawler’s strike are replaced at 5th level with foe fling, with creature size category scaling, as she learns to enemy hammer foes with her telekinetic powers – this would be rather strong, but is held in check by a hex-caveat. Very complex, technical, and fun tweak.

Cursed pugilists replace martial training with an oracle curse, using ½ class level (minimum 1) as oracle level, and AC bonus replaced with a mystery, which does not grant spells. Instead of martial flexibility, the brawler may change out revelations from the respective oracle mystery chosen. The feat-array is thus also tweaked. Faith’s hand, in contrast, deals scaling bonus damage versus targets opposed to the alignment of the archetype’s deity chosen, akin to an alignment-based sneak attack. 2nd and 11th level’s bonus feats are replaced with two blessings, treating class level -1 as warpriest levels. Brawler’s Strike at 12th level can choose two alignment components.

The fleetfoot replaces the brawler’s bonus combat feats with dimensional darter at 2nd level, the option to, as a swift action, increase base speed by 50%, usable 1/day, +1/day for every three levels thereafter. 5th level nets storm step as a SP, treating this as dimension door for the purpose of feats, usable 1/day, +1/day for every 4 levels thereafter. The higher levels yield the Dimensional Agility feat-tree in conjunction with these tricks. 4th level and every 3 levels thereafter increase the base movement speed by +10 ft.

Knockers treat their monk level as ½ their knocker level (minimum 1) to determine close weapon damage, but get Awesome Blow at 4th level, and they can push the target further back, adding a scaling mechanism. Improved Awesome Blow is similarly modified and gained as soon as 8th level, providing more nuanced control about that component. Interesting engine tweak. Lethal Study gets UMD as a class skill and chooses bard, hunter, inquisitor, magus, mesmerist or spiritualist or warpriest, gaining the ability to use spell completion and trigger items as though they had the chosen class’s spells of up to 6th level, replacing martial training. Instead of martial flexibility, we have the ability to cast 0th-level spells as at-will SPs of the chosen class, and 2nd level nets Arcane Strike, 8th level Riving Strike as bonus feats, using class level as caster level, with 5th level providing Craft Wand, replacing the bonus feats usually gained at these levels. The unique thing: These guys may use wands as weapons, with 5th level allowing for the use unarmed strike damage with them (at the cost of a charge) and the use of charges to also deliver spells held in the wand with such attacks.

Prize fighters use essentially the performance combat engine, and may gain performance feats with martial flexibility; Dirty Trick specialization and interaction of knockout and awesome blow with the performance combat engine is provided. Sumpters replace brawler’s strike and maneuver training with the ability to carry massive amounts of stuff and reduced penalties for load. Cool: The massive bunch of stuff these guys are bound to carry is used as the “Big Bag of Pain”, replacing unarmed strikes with essentially an oversized sap. This made me genuinely laugh when I read it for the first time. Love the visuals! Using massive, debris-filled bags as super-saps? I can totally get behind that… XD

Trance brawlers are another take on a monk/barbarian-ish crossover, with a Wisdom-governed, scaling battle trance, with some abilities of the core class relegated to the trance. Instead of combat feats, we have some rage powers applying to the trance. The triage medic is neat: Swift action (and more efficient!) use of the Heal skill, as well as Heal affecting damage at higher levels – this may not be a strong option, but it’s one that I like. Weapon specialist chooses a fighter weapon group for weapon proficiency, and applies this as the governing group for the purposes of brawler class features, with unarmed strike relegated to 4th level (and at -3 levels); maneuver training is gained at 7th level, but atk and damage are enhanced with the chosen group. Okay, I guess. Wild scrappers gets Aspect of the Beast and thus would be the claw-tweak for the brawler, modifying flurry and gaining pounce at 12h level. Wyrmfang brawlers would be kobolds that begin play with Elemental Fist, which is assigned to a dragon-based elemental energy and yields corresponding bonus feats at 6th, 10th and 14th level, replacing martial flexibility. Unarmed strike is replaced with tail terror and 2nd level increases Strength by +4 for the purpose of unarmed strikes, natural attacks or close weapon group weaponry, replacing 2nd level’s combat feat. Close weapon mastery is replaced with class level -4 monk damage; kobold tail attachments are treated as close weapon group. The dragon heritage that determines styles also influences the enhancements that apply via the archetype’s brawler’s strike variant.

The pdf contains 13 new feats, which include a feat that allows you to unlock the follow-up feats of Awesome Blow (you know, the ones with the ridiculously high Strength-prerequisites), and one that makes your fighter and monk level for prerequisite-purposes as higher, with BAB +11 increasing that further. Limited Strength-based crafting may also be found, and the feats include three new styles: Close Combat Style allows you to expand the close weapon group, while Knocking Style is about moving targets around and potentially knocking them prone. The Rakshasa Style nets you scaling DR and in the end, enhances your effectiveness versus divine casters.

The pdf also provides 8 so-called brawler arts, which can be considered to be alternate choices to awesome blow and knockout. Awesome blow may be replaces with super-powered disarms (that also inflict sunder damage), potent drags or flinging of targets. Knockout may be replaced with nauseating gut blows, attacks that confuse the target, an attack that renders the target flat-footed, grapple with autopins or bonus damage based on Wisdom. It should be noted that variant multiclassing rules for the brawler are included as well.

The pdf includes the urban aggressor 10-level PrC, which gains full BAB-progression, ½ Fort-save progression, d10 HD and 2 + Int skills per level; the prerequisites can be met as soon as 5th level. The PrC gets a ki pool of ½ class level + Wisdom modifier, or stacks levels with ki-possessing classes. PrC class levels stack with brawler levels for the purpose if brawler’s flurry, martial flexibility and unarmed strikes. The PRC gets DR 2/- versus nonlethal damage, increasing by +2 at 4th level and every 3rd level thereafter. 2nd level nets aggression points: You choose either active or passive aggression each day anew. Active aggression nets you 1 aggression point when you confirm a critical hit or reduce a foe with an unarmed strike or close weapon group to 0 hit points or below. Thankfully, this can’t be cheesed due a kitten-caveat.

Passive aggression nets an aggression point when the character suffers a critical threat or if the fail a Fort-save, and once more, there is a caveat, though here, the HD-caveat was forgotten, making the caveat somewhat toothless. Aggression points cap at ½ Constitution modifier (minimum 1) and temporary increases do not alter this limit. At the end of each minute the aggressor doesn’t gain such a point, one is lost, but as long as the aggressor has them, their number is added to atk with unarmed strikes and close weapon group attacks. 3rd level and every 3 levels thereafter nets a ki talent chosen from a list that allows for options that provide further uses for aggression points, use of ki to use martial flexibility, etc, These are interesting, but I couldn’t help but think that the engine per se could have used even more tricks – style strike uses and the like are intriguing, as are kinetic blasts. Aggression points may also be used at 5th level to ignore limited amounts of DR or hardness, and at 8th level, this may be applied to full attacks. 10th level is a nice culmination, allowing for the use of aggression points to get ki talents – including a non-stacking caveat. I really like the engine and its potential here – I think it could have carried a longer class.

The pdf also contains 5 different magic items, with wrestling oil making the target count as though grease’d for quite a while. Warlord’s tattoos (available in three iterations), are assigned a chosen feat, which is then temporarily granted access to; they have a cap that prevents abuse, and duration is contingent on tattoo type chosen. Furious biter is an interesting spring-loaded punching dagger that can add a further attack when used with flurries as the exclusive weapon. Drooling fangs are a tekko-kagi that can apply poisons, potion effects (un-)holy water and similar effects – oh, and it’s human-bane. Glowlash manacles enhance the attacks performed with them modifying size category and reach, but only a limited amount of times per day.

As far as sample NPCs are concerned, we are introduced to Edelhyde Slagg, a level 11 human weapon specialist using battle poi (awesome!), and Witt the Rimetailed, a level 12 wyrmfang brawler kobold has also been included – both NPCs come with very compelling background stories and pretty darn amazing full-color artworks as well as proper boons for PCs befriending them. Cool: The two are fierce foes, but particularly diplomatic PCs may actually manage to end the strife between them!

Conclusion: Editing and formatting re up to Legendary Games’ usual, very high standard on both a formal and rules-language level. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the pdf employs a blend of previously used and new full-color artworks, with particularly the sample NPCs standing out. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Onyx Tanuki deliver an incredibly technical and challenging pdf here – the rules-operations executed here, time and again, are complex, precise and show a deep understanding of complex rules interactions. I was very happy to see the brawler arts as some customization options, and the archetypes, while primarily focused on engine tweaks, do feature quite an assortment of challenging and playstyle-altering tricks. Now, to be frank, while I don’t exactly love the brawler-class, it is one of the ACG-classes I can get behind. I see its appeal, and I actually use it. That being said, I couldn’t help but feel that a more pronounced focus on brawler arts that would provide unique abilities for the class would have been more rewarding than the crossover archetypes. Then again, you may chalk that up to a certain degree of fatigue I have with regards “It’s class x, save that it has tweaked class feature y of class z” style archetypes.

Before you get the wrong impression: There are plenty of options herein that do more than that, and even engine tweaks herein tend to fall on the interesting side of things. This is, after all, a well-executed expansion for the brawler-class, one that provides plenty of fixes for holes in the rules, and as such, this is a book I’d wholeheartedly recommend for fans of the class, particularly if one of the more far out concepts (the two racial archetypes are my highlights in that section!) struck a chord with you. It won’t make you love the class if you previously didn’t like it, but it will make you like it more – and what more can you ask of a class expansion like this? My final verdict will be 5 stars – as expected from Onyx Tanuki at this point.

Endzeitgeist out.



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

Add to Bards and Sages RPG Resource Order

Legendary Kineticists II
by Andrew D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/22/2019 04:39:46

The elements move in mysterious ways. (Edited 6/22/2019 due to an error in understanding on Nihilicist and how nihil damage harms objects on a recent read- my apoligies.)

I'll begin by saying I was provided a review Copy for this.

Here we are, Legendary Kineticists 2. Is the ride coming to an end? well... If it truly is, this is leaving with a decent bang, ill tell you that. Although, I think the sentiment from me on this is "not what I was expecting." Lets see what we have here.

Bestial Kineticist- Right off the bat, something I didn't expect.This is new animal companion archetype! Your animal companion is infused with a level of kineticist energy and can trade tricks for limited access to wild talents and infusions. It can also enact blasts on it's own, and even pass you it's blast for use- plus if you and it own the same element of blast, it can tag-team blasts with you. I find this archetype pretty interesting. That cats a Dynamo!

Metakinetic Savant- Hrm... you can modify and manipulate metakinesis by way of using metamagics at an improved degree, including improving your internal buffer specifically to use it - it has a helpful list of what the blasts you can manipulate count as and what you can't take using this archetype. it can be taken so long as not EVERY metakinesis is replaced by another archetype, and metakinetic master or internal buffer aren't modified. not my style at all, but credit where due.

Nihilicist- Now this is an intriguing one. This one denies the use of ANY established element (if you willingly do, you lose access to this), and must be within two steps of neutral to stay in "class". In exchange you get a notable blast pair- empty and Zero, which do Nihil damage. You can fire both blasts as physical or mental, and they come with their own selection of infusions to choose, but you only get universal wild talents to pick from. Nihil Damage is nonlethal damage that can't be ignored, and if an object takes to much of it then it outright disintegrates. Intriguingly you can convert nihil damage from nonlethal to lethal in a few ways, which allows you to turn it into a condition you can inflict based on damage dealt (wow, reminded of healing hands...), and some of these are killer effects. Defensively they can convert lethal damage taken to nonlethal, eventually become untraceable, even disappearing from peoples minds. The finale is two fold. You can do far more pain with Nihil conversion for statuses, but if you want, you can go out with a... shall we say Annihilation- tier bang. Just make sure your affairs are in order- nobody else will remember them.

Onslaught Blaster- OOH HOO HOO, I was waiting for this one. This is one of my favorite Kineticist variants, and one of the two reasons I wanted this product. It changes up the gameplay by adjusting how the blast works- instead of one big shot based on your level, you can splinter it into many smaller ones with some caveats- or essentially pool them all back up into one. damage takes some adjustments, and ill admit my brain wishes some of the additional damage written into some of these abilities stack across the board, but I know better. if you play kineticist for its ranged damage component over its melee variants, and no other archetype intrigues you, this one has some great applications for spreading debuff centric infusions around at the least. plus its the missile spam Kineticist- what's not to love about this, assuming you can take the cost?

Order of the Scion- This is a Cavalier order that turns them somewhat into Kineticists- or more apt, Knights of the elemental balance. You get a kinetic whip simple blast as a level 1 kineticist that can function as a lance on charge, you get elemental defense and an odd variant of elemental overflow. But you have to strive for elemental balance, do an 1 hour ritual each day to maintain your powers, and your challenge is limited in effectiveness by what element you chose... ill just say this isn't for me. but I DID see an opening in my Knights of Flame.

Planar Custodian- First off, love the art around this class. second of all, PARTIALLY KINETIC DRUIDS. Storm Earth and Fire, heed my call? No, not sorry- couldnt resist. This pulls power from the druid shell to add Kineticist elements into it- Bestial kineticist animal companion, a kinetic blast, some infusions, Element defenses... but to get the full effects your druid elements tinge to a specific set of element focuses and there are some as I see it major tradeoffs. I like the feel, but I don't know how many would use it, and there's things I just wouldn't give up to have this.

Planetouched Oracle- Hrm. A simple modification to the Oracle in my eyes, but a partially kinetic Oracle is the result. however, much like the Planar Custodian I do not know if this would be worth the trade off, which I see as even bigger. You trade mysteries and revelations for an element focus, a simple blast and a progression of infusions and wild talents- plus a method of reducing infusion cost and some blast modifications as you progress. I'm lost on this one- with so many kinetic elements combined with the number of mysteries and revelations, this adds a LOT of potential options overall but the stipulations involved just have me going no from what I know about oracles. But it is a functional Kineticist/Oracle hybrid, and if your looking for more "all-day" capability, it can provide a thing or two.

Telekinetic Bladeshifter- So we have an Aether Full BAB Kineticist archetype that can turn items they effect with telekinetic blast into a chosen one light melee, one handed melee, or thrown weapons, dealing damage with it as a Warpriest Sacred Weapon. In exchange, other Kinetic blasts are WAY weaker than normal, and you get no form infusions. From there they progress down a fighters route, using burn and elemental overflow to modify weaponry and shields, trading talents for bonus feats if you wish to, and progressing into two handed, dual wielding, blade and board, or throwing style. it's.. pretty cool, but it's specialized element comes into it's own a bit to late for my taste, and it's not the only class sharing this kind of space nowadays- but it is the Kineticist Fighter, and it appears to do that job pretty well.

Kineticist Talents- Some new stuff to play with here. In infusions my favorites are Water dehydration blasts, and the ability to ricochet blasts- though counterspellers will love some of these. My picks from wild talents include modifications to chain and ricochet infusions, the ability to specialize in electricity or ice blasts, Wood gets a variant of Shillelagh with some new tricks, and mind gets some new tricks (YES!, more for mind!) including wiping memories and access (along with Aether) to the oddity of Life after Undeath, which lets you become a positive energy undead if you were undead and human shaped! Oh, and also Void Kineticists can become Liches. figured id bring that up. However, i spy a reprint- improved Celerity is here from LK 1. an awesome one to reprint, but it wasn't helpfully marked at such or anything.

Kineticist feats- YUM. Some of these could be great for multiclassing, like using burn in place of Ki pools, for example. Theres some stuff in here for Dark Elementalists, but also Bestial Companion users- those with metakinesis can teach their bestial kineticists metakinesis as well, for example. But my love is the classic efficiency stuff. Enhanced Composite Boost is sweet for those who use the Boost series- it allows you to add the substance infusions of that type to the usable list with a blast you apply the boost to. Though the example is apparently illegal, oopsie! Still works with a different type of simple blast though! I'm a bit to into single elements mentally to spot them all, but there's potential here. Kinetic Disruption means you can kinetic counter ANY evocation (if mental) or Conjuration (creation) if physical- spell on top what you already could counterspell. This lets you mess with some parades. plus there's a bit more for certain other elements. but anyone who likes the Onslaught Blaster will NEED this one- Kinetic Railgun. It seems to function as the Onslaught Blasters rendition of Kinetic Acceleration from KOP 3, with a bit of difference involved. Color me a haste junky if you like but- GIMMMMMEE!

Kinetic Spells- ...Eww. Here we have spells that inflict burn on enemies, can turn burn into lethal damage, and one spell that lets you suppress the negative effects of burn in a buff form for a time. my favorite one is Burning Prohibition. once applied it forces will saves based on what you try to do and if it was prohibited by the caster. Succeed? Eat a burn. Fail? Eat a burn and waste the action. it's also a permanent duration. it's nice, but personally? I'm just not a fan of this section otherwise. this feels to me like an anti-kineticist section- and as someone who doesn't care for casting usually, and likes Kineticists not exactly what I signed up for!

Kinetic Mystic- Speaking of unexpected things. But to be fair, the books got more than a few, a arcane/psychic and kineticist prestige class. I remember this kind of thing and it's nice to see something like it again. while you miss out on some levels of spellcasting progression here, you do count as the class you got the kinetic blast you need this prestige from for all features EXCEPT spells. in play.. okay, I JUST professed I don't care for casting very much, but this is COOL. you start breaking down the lines between magic and kineticism, turning the blasts into functional touch spells (OH MAGUS!) and being able to stick blasts as the vector for hitting with casted touch spells, which progresses as you do. the capstone is intriguing as well- you can accept a certain amount of burn to cast spells, but you can reduce burn costs a few ways, AND you can sack spell slots in order to make a kinetic blast precanned in that slot that uses that much burn (with some limitations, not including specialization reductions, sadly). This is one neat capstone to me. Id like to give this one a shot someday, and perhaps I will... one thing though, there's an issue in my copy. The fraction is missing at the end in Kinetic Conduit. Based on the list, it takes some time before you can use your kinetic blast fully in this set up- it begins in fractions of 1/5th, but the text seems to have an error here.

Legendary Kineticist- The OTHER thing I wanted this book for. This is a redone kineticist that in my opinion was sorely needed. So, what's new? Well so far as I can tell, Wild Talents now autoscale in DC (YES!). Burn is changed from nonlethal damage to a penalty on all STR and DEX ability and skill checks except for Initative (well, im not half-killin' myself normally, but...). Gather power needs only one hand now. Metakinesis Maximize is gone and Metakinesis Persistent is in it's place (yay, personally!). Internal Buffer is a level earlier and naturally fills up (no more "well, ill light myself up before i go to bed for internal buffer anymore!, GOOD!). Expanded element kicks in a level earlier each, you still normally get a utility talent choice then as normal and you still get an infusion choice at its old level, PLUS YOU NO LONGER SUFFER THE PENALTY FOR THE EXPANDE- okay look. about the only negatives to this are loss of maximize, the skill burn (if that bothers you more then nonlethal damage), and expanded element chosen for the same element does NOT let you take an extra wild talent. It only allows infusions (SHAKES FIST). There's other class changes I didn't mention, one of which is a SWEEET buff, and the old Extra wild talent feat is also listed here, and changed to fit in with this kineticist. If your worried about archetypes not matching, there's even a piece here about helping them fit. anything replacing Metakinesis Maximize eats the Persist. adjust down the levels of expanded element and internal buffer. and War Kineticist from LK 1? STACKS. this solves a lot of those concerns, and this is my Kineticist +1 as a consequence. If you are allowed to use it, JUST DO IT. you will be glad you did.

Lastly there's a Kineticist VMC (I do not use this system, so i cannot begin to comment- but i don't care for it at a glance) and there's a sample Onslaught Blaster, who ill say I enjoy the theme of- they use a combination of air and Aether that puts both to good use.

I spied a few issues with the writing in this book- the missed fraction in the Kinetic Mystic for example, another being the lack of bolding on the Metakinesis ability in the Legendary Kineticist. not enough to take away much for me, but... still worth pointing out.

My thoughts overall on this book? well, some of it either really intrigues me (Nihilicist, Kinetic Mystic), or blows me away (Onslaught Blaster, Legendary Kineticist). Everything in here appears to work just fine as written, but a good bit of it does nothing for me at all. The last LK book had me dancing in glee by comparison. but then again, I got Bob Ross and Adagio Dazzle-esc Kineticists out of it- the arts in combat are things I ALWAYS want more of. a lot of this book feels more like an expression of the kinetic elements on the world at large, rather than the kineticists themselves- after all, 4 of the archetypes in this book aren't for the base kineticist, Kinetic Mystic is a hybrid prestige, and there's the spells. in that context it is a good book, but as a dedicated Kineticist player book, is it still worth it?

Yes. because this book still provides more kineticists abilities and feats, 4 good Kineticist archetypes that is bound to at least intrigue someone, and an amazing quality of life increase to a class that I feel could use it in the Legendary Kineticist. if this is the end, it came around pretty good, back to where it all started. It didn't light the fire under me like the last book, but it's STILL one worth picking up.

See you on the other side, folks. I have some kineticist sizing up t'do. got a Lucha Libre wrestler Gestalt to make, and some of the stuff in this book reminds me of ideas...



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Legendary Kineticists II
Click to show product description

Add to Bards and Sages RPG Resource Order

Legendary Mediums
by Thomas M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/10/2019 12:38:23

Currently playing the playtest version (though it was late playtest so is basically the same AFAIK) and it's 100% what I wanted paizo's medium to be. It's more on the powerful side but not so much so it'd overshadow any other first party classes. The addition of spirit feats and the various spirit affinities gives the right amount of daily flex I wanted out of the medium, and not being locked into a specific spirit for 24h is great. They'll probably need a few little tweaks to fit your group's balance, and IIRC some things still dont line up perfectly (like the favored class bonus to increase seance boons with the guardian spirit's boon is kinda weird).



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

Add to Bards and Sages RPG Resource Order

Kingdoms
by Fotis V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/02/2019 16:18:21

A fairly solid conversion of the pathfinder rules, all in all. The most dissapointing thing about it is the lack of support for the title. It's been years since the release and a fairly critical component of the system, the settlement sheet, is still missing.



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

Add to Bards and Sages RPG Resource Order

Mythic Marvels
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/24/2019 05:12:59

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This mythic plug-in clocks in at 22 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of introduction, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 13 pages of content – though, as always, it should be noted that there is quite a lot of content cramped inside of this pdf.

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

So, what is this? It is, in short, a book that provides the means for GMs to make mythic rules more than just a template to be added on top of characters and monsters; it is about mythic forces authoring the destiny of narratives; not being a tool of it. The idea is that the world is mutable and shaped by the deeds of mythic entities – resulting in the creation of marvels. If you remember, for example the difference of Witcher 3’s depiction of Toussaint in “Blood and Wine” and its radically different palette, or when thinking about Camelot, Eldorado, Xanadu (the inspiration of Xin-Shalast), etc., one can see how potent beings may alter the fabric of the world. The book supplements this concept with rules for incidental marvels, accompanying e.g. maximum damage rolls, crucial crits etc. – the hero falls, and blood rains; the crows all caw, etc. – the cosmetic concept of incidental marvels need not have rules repercussions.

Mythic trials, on the other hand, may create marvels beyond the capabilities of characters of the respective mythic tier.

Now, the pdf provides a smattering of concisely codified effects – like the alteration of terrain /difficult terrain that may knock you prone as earth quakes, withers or plan-like blooms, etc.) or areas of spellblight. At mid-to high-tiers, artifacts may be created, undead or haunts may be generated, curses unleashed (massive 2-page table with item categories by tier and suggested cursed items provided!), and if you’re playing with Ultimate Campaign’s fame-mechanics, there’s a tie-in-here as well. The awesome concept of fey impulses (see Forest Kingdom Compendium) may also be tied in this way, and occult adventures ley lines or locus spirits may be included. Structures may be ruined. Rumormongering may have the rumor take on a life of its own (extra kudos if you use this for an Adahn-situation…and kudos if you got this by now super-dated reference… ;P) and settlement qualities may be gained or lost.

The pdf also provides a bit of guidance about reversing marvels, and nets you a great tier-by-tier list of trial marvels and suggested effects, allowing you to judge their impact and presenting thus a great means to think about them in a streamlined manner, as opposed to just going by gut-feeling: A 10th tier character’s marvel may be a subcontinental-scale earthquake, while a 2nd tier’s marvel may awaken a dead creature as an undead, for example. Incidental marvels also get such a tier-by-tier breakdown that helps you think of them in a meaningful way. In case you need some inspiration for mythic trials, there are plenty of concepts provided there as well.

Beyond those, there also are quite a bunch of path abilities provided: We get 5 universal path abilities: Perhaps your presence unsettles the spirits, allowing you to cast mage hand, ghost sound, unseen servant (latter not italicized properly) at will; your healing can make plant-life bloom when you also spend mythic power; you can quickly sculpt as per expeditious excavation (at higher tiers stone shape, wall of stone), and what about sweeping strikes that clear difficult terrain or using your breath for mythic gust of wind or wind wall? I love these! They are not just numbers and boosts, they are the stuff of legends. 3 3rd tier universal path abilities allow for speed-increase, burrowing or ex nihilo creation, and the 3 6th tier abilities let you use earthquake or mythic move earth, with higher tiers allowing for nasty curses from Horror Adventures (one of those isn’t properly italicized). Move mountain allows you to move 30-foot cubes of earth in a single round, and wind rider lets you control the winds and ride whirlwinds!! Frickin’ awesome! This is what mythic gameplay should be about!

Conclusion: Editing is exceedingly precise on a formal and rules-language level. Formatting missed a few italicizations, but otherwise remains precise. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the pdf sports nice full-color artworks, though fans of Legendary Games will be familiar with them. The pdf comes with a single bookmark for the ToC; while this is a short book, more would have been nice.

David N. Ross’ mythic marvels are AWESOME. I love how they help the GM think of mythic might as more than just an escalation of numbers. They help you make the mythic powers feel more like the powers of legend, wielded by truly legendary heroes and villains. Its main draw is how it helps you think of mythic power as something more – and in my book, as something more, something that really helps mythic characters feel like more than just super-powered versions of regular heroes. As such, this is a radiant success, and I’d warmly recommend this to just about any GM and group using mythic adventures – I’d consider this to be an EZG-essential book for mythic adventures, in fact. However, the few hiccups in formatting prevent me from rating this the full 5 stars, making my final verdict 4.5 stars + seal of approval, rounded up. (As an aside: This material is included in the massive Mythic Character Codex as well – so f you’re looking for the big collection of mythic material, get that tome instead!)

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mythic Marvels
Click to show product description

Add to Bards and Sages RPG Resource Order

Mythic Monsters #36: Mesoamerica
by Mattias B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/19/2019 02:51:04

This product is seriously lacking. It just contains pure statblocks and nothing else.

  • There are no discussions of a mesoamerican bestiary and how it tells us something about the world view, cosmology and mythology of these cultures.
  • Almost no art to speak of, you have to look up pictures on your own.
  • No examples of how such creatures live or how they would interact with the players.
  • No story hooks.
  • The product says "Mesoamerica" but includes South American countries as well.


Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Mythic Monsters #36: Mesoamerica
Click to show product description

Add to Bards and Sages RPG Resource Order

Mythic Monsters #50: Celtic
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/17/2019 06:18:38

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Mythic Monsters-series clocks in at 34 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of introduction, 1 page ToC, 3 pages of SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page inside of back cover, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 22 pages of content, though it should be noted that we get quite a lot of text per page.

This review was, funnily enough, requested by a patreon supporter to be moved up in my reviewing queue – and it was the only mythic book that had, prior to that, not (yet) been requested, so this, in a way, makes the completionist in me grin.

Now, as always in these books, we begin with supplemental content – and this time around, the subject matter would be “Naked Courage”, referring to the tendency of some Celtic cultures fighting without armor. In Pathfinder, savage barbarian, swashbuckler or the like can be used to represent this concept, sure. This pdf adds the blue-painted warrior fighter archetype to the fray of such options. These valiant braves lose proficiency with armor, but apply blue-painted symbols to their bodies in a process that takes 1 hour of preparation as well as 1 sp per class level in a process that takes an hour. These symbols grant an AC bonus equal to ½ class level (minimum +1). Bravery is modified to net +4 to Will saves against fear, increasing by +2 for every 4 levels beyond 2nd, and 14th level makes that immunity to fear. Without freshly painted symbols, this reverts to base bravery benefits. Instead or armor training, third level nets the option to choose 1 spell-like ability from a list, and 7th, 11th and 15th level unlock their own lists of SPs and increase the number of SPs from previous lists, basically emulating a spell-list of sorts. The engine does allow for the slotting of lower level SPs in higher level slots, uses Constitution as governing ability score to determine bonus SPs, and the SPs only apply to the character. Instead of gaining an SP, the blue-painted warrior can grant herself an enhancement bonus to AC or a combination of such a bonus and armor special qualities, with a cap of only one SP until 11th level. At 19th level, armor mastery is replaced with shrug it off, a 75% chance to negate critical hits and precision damage based on the symbols – a failure to refresh them sees them slowly degrade down the fortification special ability tree.

The archetype comes with explicit mythic class feature tricks, which allow them to expend mythic power to retain symbol freshness, adding tier to armor bonus and immunity vs. non-mythic fear-sources, as well as the option of granting nearby allies half the bravery bonus. The SP-based engine-component may be tweaked to provide access to the mythic iteration, and allows for spontaneous swapping of choices made. The mythic version can also apply the benefits of these SPs to allies, and the mythic version of the mighty shrug it off allows for automatic crit and precision damage negation from non-mythic sources. It also nets allies an atk and damage boost when you negate a crit. On the nitpicky side, I noticed missing italicizations here. This guy is decent, but not exactly brilliant as far as I’m concerned.

All righty, but this fellow was not what we’re here for, right? Let’s check out the creatures! At the lowest rung of the CR-spectrum, we have nixies, which clock in at CR 1/MR 1. The mythic upgrade has two really nice new abilities. Coat of Mist blurs the nixie while near a body of water, and mythic power expenditure may upgrade this to displacement. Additionally, they get fisher’s touch, which allows for the use of a touch to baleful polymorph (italics missing) touched targets briefly, with non-mythic and charmed targets being more susceptible. Nice upgrade! Also at this CR/MR, we get a mythic upgrade of the alpluachra, who is a bit faster in water and injects its numbing slime with bite attacks as well. Additionally, they may expend a use of mythic power as an immediate action to avoid ingesting harmful alchemical substances, toxins, etc. and withstand the consumption of salt or salt water. Nice evolution of the concept.

At one CR more, CR 2/MR 1, the fuath gremlin, whose attacks now actually can hurt (thank the deities…) and whose mere presence makes waters nearby choppy, increasing the Swim DCs nearby, and they may 1/day warp wood at CL 8th, making them rather dangerous for those braving their waters. Increasing CR once more by +1, we have two CR 3/ MR 1 critters within, with the first being the water leaper receives a stunning shriek and the option to use mythic power to add a whopping +20 to Acrobatics made to leap for 1d6 rounds. The second creature at this CR/MR-array would be the pooka, who is improved to hearken closer to its mythological roots: They get selective invisibility and may execute at-range dirty tricks governed by Charisma, with the option to expend mythic power to retain their invisibility. The final low CR/MR-creature clocks in at CR 4/MR 1, the mythic spring-heeled jack, who may use their ragged capes to glide, Batman-style, with the benefits of Wingover and Flyby Attack that explicitly allows for use of e.g. the breath weapon in conjunction with it. Wounds struck by these fey bleed, and the amount increases if the target is struck by a sneak attack, and further if the target is subjected to one of the detrimental fear-based conditions.

The CR 5/MR 2 gancanagh azata gets a fey flute, which allows them to affect targets in a 60 ft.-radius with SPs sans counting towards daily uses. With their swashbuckler’s blade, they can use AoOs to penalize attack rolls; for mythic power, we get a parry, represented by the imho not very elegant comparing of attack rolls – on the plus-side, they may choose to take half damage and instead riposte, getting an AoO versus the attacker. The gancanagh’s kiss or caress banishes mental dominion, and may even, with mythic use expenditure, remove e.g. a succubus’ profane gift, though this is not guaranteed. Also at this CR/MR, we have the firbolg, whose weapons ignore 5 hardness or DR, and when targeting Medium or smaller creatures, the target must succeed on a save or have its defensive means reduced, though enhancement bonuses cannot be reduced. Additionally, mythic firbolgs get Death’s Decree – when they’d be killed, permanently incapacitated, etc., they may expend 1 mythic power as an immediate action to self breath of life or break enchantment. For an additional mythic power, the offender may also be targeted with a curse that prevents a use of a specific action for 1 year. Nice!

At CR 11/MR 4, the fellow on the cover, the famous nuckelavee can use its mythic power to double the range of its aura, and yes, it may spoil potions or food within its aura. Its signature mortasheen disease requires mythic magic to cure, and may be rendered highly contagious by the creature. Additionally, for mythic power use, the nuckelavee’s mythic iteration may speed up the progress of the vile disease. In their wake, they spread filth and disease, rendering water difficult terrain, and the creature’s rancid odor touches those hit by bite or breath with a truly foul smell. AWESOME!

The CR 17/MR 7 death coach comes with a reprint of the mythic Lightning Stance and receives an upgrade to its soul-collecting abilities that make them truly devastating; epic here: The mythic iteration can take a standard action at any point during its movement, and may take an additional one for mythic power expenditure. The coach also gets the ability to trample through targets of any size, with the chance to frighten those failing or foregoing their saves. Those struck cower (OUC) on a failed save, and protection from fear may end up being dispelled by such attacks. More than all of this, non-good creatures that have their soul collected may strike a bargain with death, fulfilling a quest in exchange for their souls…AWESOME. I adore this build. It makes the ghost carriage really work, is deadly, and oozes narrative potential, even at lower levels. Where was this critter when my main campaign was in Ravenloft?

The highest CR/MR creature herein would be the CR 19/MR 7 Nemhain, who gets some DR/epic for better staying power and the means to upgrade the SPs to their mythic iterations. Speaking of which: Will-saves vs. effects that deal positive energy damage? Those behave as though the critter had a specialized form of evasion. As a standard action, the nemhain may return to the location of their ritual objects, and the ritual object, if destroyed, repels the living, for one more chance. Oh, and the object may be fortified by the nemhain’s mythic powers. As a full-round action and for one mythic power, they may attack all creatures (up to Dexterity-modifier) that damaged her. Then, there would be the bound spirits ability: The Nemhain is surrounded by swirling cloud of spirits that may be directed as a swift action to attack within a 30-ft.-radius, and they can deliver harm and similar effects. These may also be sent forth as scouts, as a kind of impervious cloud – reminded me of my slaver of the damned design in a good way! While they share the nemhain’s space, they btw. net concealment and SR. I love how this high-level threat is all about resistance and striking incredibly hard – this fellow won’t be easy to slay!

Now, as always, the book does contain a totally new creature that doesn’t exist yet – this time around, that would be the lavishly-illustrated Cyhyraeth, a tragic and mighty incorporeal undead that clocks in at CR 15/MR 6. These spirits get rejuvenation, DR, and natural invisibility. The staves they wield threaten critical hits on 19-20, and on a critical hit, they may demoralize the targets. A target demoralized for more than one round cowers for 1 round, and the cyhyraeth may expend mythic power to prolong that. When striking a creature with their staff, they can expend mythic power to affect the target with fog cloud, save that only the target sees the fog! Nasty! As a move action, these spirits may release a tri-fold moan of demise; on a failed save, targets then hear the subsequent moans, even if deaf. The first moan also provides a debuff and increases damage taken from melee and ranged weapon attacks; the second moan further increases the penalty and also provides an increased threat range versus those affected by the moan, while the third moan causes death. The horrifying thing: Hearing a moan is permanent. Unless the creature is destroyed, the moans will keep their potency indefinitely – or unless removed with very high-powered mythic magic. When they cause fear or death, these spirits can call will-o’-wisps to their side, and 1/day, they can curse locations or vessels with deadly accidents – 50% chance on natural 1s to take damage. Oh, and yeah, they have a heart grip that may knock targets out – and yep, this may be used in conjunction with the staff… A glorious masterpiece of a critter here!

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are very good on a rules-language level, and almost very good on a formal level; I noticed no serious hiccups, but a few cosmetic ones are here. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the original artworks presented are pure awesome. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Mike Welham and Jason Nelson are both true masters of creature-design, and its shows in this book, it really does. While the archetype left me less than blown away (I’d rate that, on its own, probably somewhere in the 3-4-star vicinity), the creatures, and that should be made abundantly clear, are all killer, no filler. There is not one mythic build herein that I wouldn’t vastly prefer over the original creature. This hold particularly true for the high-level creatures that actually have a chance of standing against mythic heroes, that all can carry their own adventures. They made me flash back, in the best of ways, to all those years upon years of Ravenloft-campaigns I ran, made me really stoked to run some gothic horror. So yeah, the series ends with a huge BANG, and not with a whimper – 5 stars + seal of approval.

On a personal side: I can’t believe I’ve reviewed 50 of these books. Tempus fugit, indeed. Anyways, I wanted to write something about it: The Mythic Monsters-series has redefined what I dare to expect from creatures, and what I frankly want to see from creature design. It represents a paradigm-shift away from solely new combinations of math, feats and spells/SPs, towards the mythological roots of the creatures, or, where not applicable, towards creatures that are set apart by unique abilities that make them stand out. They provide narrative potential beyond being stuff to be hacked apart, and present us with a great fusion of powerful crunch-skills and the narrative demands of, you know, ROLEplaying. If you haven’t checked it out yet, please do so. Even if you don’t run mythic campaigns, your veteran players will enjoy the challenge these magnificent monsters provide. I will genuinely miss reviewing this series and am grateful for all the joy it has brought to my table. I raise my stein to all the talented designers that crafted this outstanding series! Here’s to you!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mythic Monsters #50: Celtic
Click to show product description

Add to Bards and Sages RPG Resource Order

Mythic Treasures
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/14/2019 05:58:47

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This collection of mythic items clocks in at 56 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of introduction, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 47 pages, which, as always for Legendary Games, contain quite a lot of information, so let’s take a look!

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

All right, this book begins with a bit of advice regarding the use of mythic items in conjunction with nonmythic games and suggested rules for identifying them, before diving into legendary item abilities, 5 to be more precise: Inestimable beauty renders an item impervious and makes it behave as though it had an enhancement bonus of ½ tier. This one lets you use bardic performance (distraction/fascinate only) as a bard of your mythic tier level, with tier stacking with bard levels), and twice ranks for the purpose of using them. Legendary power may also be used to use enthrall or hypnotic pattern with a CL equal to HD + tier. Mighty servant lets the item assume the form of a Small or Medium construct, a Large form for legendary power, using a modified version of animated object stats, with the option to fortify it via mythic power expenditure.. Resonant regalia does what you’d expect – it provides a mechanical framework for the classic notion of multiple items in a set increasing power. Soul drinker can only be applied to weaponry, and does what it says on the tin, snuffing out lives and making it hard to return the slain to life. Soul safe, finally, reforms you body, lich-style, in the vicinity of the item when slain, and the item’s legendary power may be used to negate death effects etc.

After this, we get 4 new mythic armors: The cloudcloth armor is a padded armor that nets mistsight, allows for the assumption of mythic gaseous form, and it can also be used to force gaseous creatures into corporeal form or negate toxic gasses. Nice. The cuirass of miracles is a bolstering deathless determination armor made of elysian bronze, which is interested in that it enhances the determination ability and upgrades the breath of life effect to its mythic iteration. The armor may also store mythic surges, though storing these takes A LOT of downtime – thankfully. If the armor contains 7 surges, it gets an additional ability, which, while potent, will not be overused thus – it’s a last ace in the hole. Dragonmail is dragon-defiant energy resistance banded mail, applying the dragon defiant bonus universally to all dragons, but the armor does not provide flexible resistance; this is instead governed by the source-dragon’s hide. For mythic wearers, we also have the effects of evasion and a mythic power-based temporary improved evasion. Earthenport plate is a stoneplate engraved with mystic runes – these may be chanted to apply invulnerability, titan or wild temporarily to the armor; additionally, a different chant allows the wearer and surrounding area to soften stone etc., sink under, and teleport with all sunken-in characters to another place. This gets teleportation-blocking effects etc. right, and the armor is better for dwarves.

This section also provides the jawbone shield that is specifically designed to help against creatures with grab or Snatch – an AoO-shieldbash; 1/day, such a smash vs. a bite attack can temporarily wreck the fangs of a target. The mythic power/surge mechanics also interact neatly here. Minor complaint: The cost to create here has one number too much – the “0” noted should have been eliminated.

The pdf also contains 11 magic items: The blade-eating battleaxe is made from adamantine and can sunder multiple weapons at once, and parades/parries may trigger sunder assaults. There are three magic boomerangs included (one, comically, called boomerage in one of the funniest autocorrect typos I’ve seen in a while); these include a sharp boomerang that has an increased threat range and Constitution damage. It may be thrown in a buzzsaw-like 30-ft.-line for AoE-attacks; the second boomerang allows for ranged trips/feints and the use of other combat maneuvers. The third boomerang is all about ricocheting. Dauntless machete lets you move swiftly through natural difficult terrain, and even clear quickly magical plant-effects, and it can be used to become plant bane’d. Kinslayer’s knife helps you go Dalek-level “EXTERMINATE” regarding a bloodline -the keen kinslayer kukri allows the wielder to blood biography the wounded, and the name of the creature appears on the blade – really potent for games of intrigue, particularly since mythic power allows for the tracking down of relatives…ouch. Outback woomera is a spear-thrower club that may be used to enhance shortspears cast via it, and it also allows you to create magical foodstuffs.

Redflame trollblade is a mighty weapon created with an eye towards the destruction of trolls – and since it emits a long-range call, including a subliminal suggestion that compels trolls to seek out and attempt to destroy the wielder, it should come as no surprise that the blade gets enough use. Rokurokubi whips can transform their end into the screeching heads of the namesake monster, and alternatively act as a scarf and allow you to emulate the monster. Silverspark longbows were once created as means to hunt down evil witches and wizards, focusing on anti-caster tricks. Finally, there would be the tombo fan, a weapon that allows for flight in conjunction with bardic performances, including fluid turns.

4 rings are included, the first of them being the gauss ring, which can be sued to charge melee attacks or in grapples; rings of returning allow you to return to a destination after teleportation, a kind of failsafe; the ring of truth can really help inquisitors, but prevents lying…and the ring of warmth can be considered to be a kind of survival-angle in the cold regions out there. The book also features 4 different rods – the gnarlthorn rod doubles as a wounding Morningstar (or club) that also causes ability score damage alongside the options of using burst of nettles and similar plant-based effects. The pyroclastic rod allows for the creation of ash or volcanic storms, acting as a flaming light mace that can dispel cold effects; plus, it allows for entangling magma that may be hardened by cold damage. The rod of spell-focusing may be attuned to schools or the 4 core energy types and enhance the attuned spell effects…while the rod of defoliation allows you to go Dark Sun defiler.

The book also contains a massive selection of 31 (unless I’ve miscounted) mythic magic items that contain a who’s who of some of the greatest mythic items released by Legendary Games so far – the awesome yoke of the brazen bull and the classic witch’s broom may be found. Classic mythology gets its nods, the teeth of the hydra, and the oni mask, to note two. The hei tiki amulet and hei matau amulet are here, and magi will benefit particularly from the arcanamach’s vambraces, while prepared spellcasters will enjoy the book of the banned that allows for limited access to e.g. prohibited schools, acting as a great tool for complex investigations – my spellbook doesn’t have that spell! (The book can also be glamered and uses secret page…) From the crane kimono to the crown of iron sorcery and the diamond of everwinter, fans of Legendary Games will have a couple of smiles here. Errant’s gage are gloves that help with smite, challenge, etc.

Beyond those, we do also get a massive 16 different artifacts taken from legendary Games’ illustrious history – from the pirate queen’s pearl to the elder talisman, from the sacred scroll of language to the undead-horde assembling midnight beacon and the lucky mallet, from the golden fleece to the funerary pyramid, from fractured phylacteries to the good ole’ dimensional bomb and to the deva’s wings or the crescent blade of the green dragon, this book is a grand collection of awesome artifacts with proper mythic rule-interactions.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are very good on a formal and rules-language level, with the items often juggling very high-complexity concepts with panache. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the pdf has a couple of full-color artworks that fans of LG will be familiar with – the cover of my copy looks a bit blurry, but the content and interior artwork etc. is as crisp as you’d expect. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Jason Nelson, Loren Sieg, Pedro Coelho, Matt Goodall, Linda Zayas-Palmer, Thurston Hillman and Alexander Augunas are an all-star team, and it shows here. While it should be noted that this is a kind of compilation (if you have as many LG-books as I do, there won’t be that much here for you); there is value in this book’s convenience of having a pretty massive selection of mythic items, all collected for your convenience instead of being spread out over a gazillion of different books. EDIT: I kinda assumed that to be a given, but to make the verbiage of my review clearer: This content is included in the Mythic Character Codex and Mythic Heroes Handbook, if you for example want only the items, this is definitely your go-to-place, and I applaud Legendary Games for providing a stand-alone version that allows the customers to have the option to get only the items, if desired. Full of cool ideas and resonant with myths, this is well worth 5 stars + my seal of approval; if you already own most LG-books, I’d instead advise in favor of getting the big books, though. Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mythic Treasures
Click to show product description

Add to Bards and Sages RPG Resource Order

Displaying 1 to 15 (of 463 reviews) Result Pages:  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 ...  [Next >>] 
0 items
 Hottest Titles
Powered by DriveThruRPG