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

    An Endzeitgeist.com review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Conclusion:

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

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

    Endzeitgeist out.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Mythic Monsters #47: Greek
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    On the Siberian Line
    by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/24/2018 13:22:54

    An Endzeitgeist.com review

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

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

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

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

    ..

    .

    Okay, only GMs around? Great!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Conclusion:

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

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

    Endzeitgeist out.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    On the Siberian Line
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    Treasury of the City
    by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/16/2018 04:57:54

    An Endzeitgeist.com review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Conclusion:

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

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

    Endzeitgeist out.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Treasury of the City
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    Legendary Hybrids: Skinchanger
    by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/09/2018 03:27:03

    An Endzeitgeist.com review

    This installment of the Legendary Hybrids-series clocks in at 33 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of introduction, 3.5 pages of SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 20.5 pages of content. Now, as always, Legendary Games’ consumer-friendly layout means that there is a lot of text on these pages, so let’s take a look!

    So, what is the skinchanger? Well, the class is a hybrid of druid and vigilante, and gets d8 HD, 6 + Int skills per level, proficiency with simple weapons and all natural weapons gained from skinchanging as well as light armors, but not shields. The class gets ¾ BAB-progression, has only good save-progressions for all 3 saving throws, and skinchangers at 4th level gain spellcasting, drawing their spells from a massive, customized list. Their governing spellcasting attribute for these spells is Charisma, but they do need to prepare spells, and the skinchanger gets a unique twist on spontaneous spell-conversion: They may lose a prepared spell of an equal level or higher to convert it into alter self, monstrous physique I, or giant form I.

    The base ability that takes the place of dual identity would be adopted persona: With 1 minute of mental and physical preparation, the skinchanger can adopt an invented or copied persona. The latter must be the identity of a target the skinchanger has studied closely – this means 1 week of spending time with the target, which can make for a great deep cover infiltration angle. Better yet, the ability actually is super precise regarding the daily studying required, making this ability exceedingly precise. Up to half class level, minimum 1, such personas may be maintained at any given time – learning a new one requires that the skinchanger forgets an old one, and personae must be maintained in a way, requiring at least 1 hour per week spent with the target. The transformation duration may NOT be hastened by abilities or effects that quicken a vigilante’s identity change. While within a persona, the skinchanger gets half her class level, minimum +1, to Bluff to maintain the ruse, as well as up to three Knowledge/profession skills related to the topics that constitute the adopted persona’s personality and occupation. This only applies while in the guise of the proper persona, obviously. Acting grossly out of character does blow your cover, and starting at 5th level, these bonuses apply even if you are untrained in the respective skills.

    The skinchanger begins play with hidden strike +1d8, inflicting this as bonus precision damage versus unaware targets with melee weapons (or ranged ones, standard 30 ft. max distance caveat applies), with the damage increasing by +1d8 at 5th level and every 4 levels thereafter. The damage applies versus flanked targets, but is reduced to d4s. The ability stacks with the stalker specialization. The class also begins play with improved Unarmed Strike, and the ability specifies its interaction with natural attacks. The second core class feature would be the one that lends the class its name – I am, of course, talking about the supernatural skinchange ability.

    Skinchange lets the skinchanger change form as a standard action and doesn’t provoke Attacks of Opportunity. The ability may be used 1/day, +1/day at 2nd level and every 2 levels thereafter, with 20th level making the ability work at-will. Druid levels stack with skinchanger levels for the purpose of determining wild shape and skinchanging, and skinchanging counts as wild shape for the purpose of prerequisites. Feats and abilities that modify wild shape, such as Quick Wild Shape do not apply their benefits to the skinchange ability. The duration of a skinchange is 1 hour per skinchanger level, and if applicable, the save DC is 10 + ½ class level + Charisma modifier. Activating skinchanges while observed spoils any disguise granted by it – nice catch there!

    Skinchanges fall into two different categories: Polymorph skinchanges and mutation skinchanges. The former follows the rules and restrictions that apply to the polymorph transmutation subschool, and when activating or dismissing a polymorph skinchange, the skinchanger may change one choice made for her mutation skinchanges as a swift action. Any number of mutation skinchanges may be in effect at any given time, but each must be activated separately as a standard action the activation costs must be paid, obviously. At 1st level, the skinchanger can alter her height, weight, skin, color, texture, hair and sex within her type, gaining a +5 untyped bonus to Disguise that does not stack with the polymorphing. This bonus increases to +10 at 4th level. This is btw. a mutation. Starting at second level, the skinchanger may assume Small or Medium humanoid or monstrous humanoid (at 4th level) form, functioning as alter self, with weapon/natural weapon interacting concisely defined. This does necessitate familiarity with the chosen form. This follows the rules for monstrous physique I, and 6th level allows for Tiny and Large creature forms, following, analogue, monstrous physique II.

    At 4th level, the ability upgrades to advanced skinchange, which is no longer linear – instead, an option is chosen, and another one is unlocked every even level thereafter. In short, these would be class-exclusive talents that allow for further customization of the base ability. These include the mutation based ability to gain a hunter’s animal focus, camouflage, scaling boosts to physical attributes, extra forms and limbs, reach increase and easier squeezing, quicker movement, limited self-healing (has a cooldown)…and what about the immediate action +4 dodge bonus to AC and DR 10/bludgeoning for a skinchange use? Yeah, there is some interesting martial stuff going on here! Temporarily integrating tools into your form, reproducing sounds…really cool tricks here. The ability is further differentiated, though: At 10th level, the array of greater skinchanges is unlocked, where further size modifications are provided, and elemental based forms are also found here. These also allow for the further upgrade of the item creation angle that the advanced skinchange option offered: These abilities are particularly intriguing, considering the high difficulty or the rules operation here. Did I mention the ability to enter a death-like torpor? Also one of the really impressive ones from a design perspective would be the trap form: Become temporarily a trap! I have NEVER seen that operation pulled off properly before!!

    Finally, 16th level unlocks the most potent of the skinchange tricks available to the class – the legendary skinchanges. Density control, Colossal forms, super-quick shapechange, further, numerical boosts…nice ones, suitable for these high levels.

    The skinchanger also begins play with a social talent, gaining another one every 4 levels thereafter. These are, as a consequence of the unique engine, modified: Quicker studying of targets (that improves further at 13th level), assuming a special, anonymous persona (think faceless men), the aptly-named celebrity-lookalike that nets discounts and services (codified as tightly as you’d expect), defeating abilities that detect falsehoods, gaining the option to 50% avoiding divinations targeting her persona while she’s not in them, gaining a bonus to a selected skill (with a few exceptions), higher level options to quicker change, gaining languages with personae…or what about being adept at convincing others that she is the real deal when attempting to declare the original an impostor…really cool tricks here! I was positively surprised by how much these tricks deviate from the vigilante’s array, though vigilante social talents may also be selected from a list. Kudos!

    At 2nd level, shapeshifter’s empathy allows for nonverbal universal communication via sound, pantomime and body language, and she may use class level + Charisma modifier instead to roll the check. This qualifies as wild empathy for prerequisite purposes. 3rd level and every 4 levels thereafter yield a stalker talent, with once more Charisma acting as governing key ability score. The ability does include the information for use of these while observed, and quite a few of these talents apply to hidden strike – such talents are designated an asterisk, and only one such asterisk’d talent may be applied to a hidden strike. The ability does offer vigilante synergy and interact, once more, in unique ways with the adopted persona class feature: We can get perona-based combat wild-card feat, using Charisma as a replacement ability score prerequisite (so no feat tree cheesing/ easy monster feat unlocking) and the ability to Bluff items instead of UMDing them similarly is intriguing. Improving damage output of unarmed and natural strikes to monk-levels, drawing weapons melded with the skinchanger’s body as a swift action and synergy between Sleight of Hand palming and polymorphing make for cool tricks. Rogue talents, vigilante talents and the like can be found, and transformation abilities are tweaked and codified as talents instead, which makes all kinds of sense. Activating and dismissing polymorphs and combine them with grapples also rocks. 3rd level nets trackless step, and the capstone provides a shapechanger apotheosis and, as noted before, skinchange at will. Taking 20 sans increasing the action required for Disguise, while also adding the adopted persona bonus is also part of the deal.

    A sample list of skinchanger forms is provided, and we get favored class options for the standard races plus android, auttaine, chlorvian, kitsune, reptoid, rougarou, skinwalker, tretharri and zvarr. I have no issues with these. There are a total of 4 different feats provided: Extra Skinchange nets + 1 skinchange and an additional daily use; Fast Skinchange lets you activate one as a move action…and in an interesting angle, this is contingent on exceeding the skinchange’s minimum level by 6 or more, making lower level skinchanges retain relevance at higher levels. Form Finesse lets you choose more special abilities when choosing from a list. Memorized Personae nets you Intelligence bonus (minimum 1) personae as permanent – this one may be taken multiple times.

    The pdf sports 3 different archetypes: The Chimerist can adopt two personae simultaneously, but only gets the Bluff bonus from the base class feature, and social/stalker talents and similar personae-based tricks are assigned one of the personae. Since the chimeric forms are somewhat monstrous, the archetype gets ½ class level as a bonus to Intimidate. Instead of 4th level’s skinchange, we get minor augmentation, which basically codifies the rules required for the unique chimeric skinchanging the archetype offers, with 6th, 10th and 14th and 18th level provide the augmentations for this signature fusion ability, though the archetype does pay for this with stalker talents and hidden strike progressions. The second archetype would by the Lycanthrope Aspirant, choosing an animal form, with 9th level unlocking magical beasts – yes, this means that you could go quasi-displacer beast lycanthrope at higher levels! The archetype does come with a variety of unique skinchanges, including hybrid form. Form Finesse is baked into the archetype and it gets DR. The third archetype would be the shape thief, who modifies the base engine by requiring the touching of targets, replacing the disguise trick. This touch can also yield personae and follow the skinchange quicker after touching a target. Higher level shape thieves may steal memories as well and learn to, get this, swap shapes! Now this makes for some unique gambits! 16th level shape thieves even learn to mimic magic in a limited form! The archetypes all come with suggestions for fitting skinchanges, social and stalker talents, making them more user-friendly for newer players.

    Conclusion:

    Editing and formatting are top-notch on both a formal and rules-language level. Layout adheres to a 2-column full-color standard and the pdf comes with a variety of different full-color artworks. Some of these will be familiar to fans of Legendary Games. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

    David N. Ross and Patrick N. R. Julius provide a beats of a hybrid class here: Distinct, with an identity that transcends the parent classes, the skinchanger plays in a unique way. The engine provided is top tier difficulty regarding the demands of the design, and manages to depict perhaps the best faceless-man-style shapechanger available for PFRPG. Yep. Now, I can tell you about a ton of evolution-based shapechanger-classes that do the icky-monster angle well…but the social chameleon? The brilliant infiltrator? Not so much. This class fills this niche with panache aplomb, showcasing the amazing potential that an excellent hybrid class can have. The skinchanger is an inspired class that ranks as one of the finest hybrid classes I have ever read. This is a masterpiece and even if you’re skeptical regarding hybrid classes, this is well worth getting. The skinchanger is a true joy, one of the best hybrid classes out there, and as such, it should come as no surprise that my final verdict will hence clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.

    Endzeitgeist out.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Legendary Hybrids: Skinchanger
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    Occult Archetypes II
    by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/06/2018 04:50:26

    An Endzeitgeist.com review

    The second collection of Occult Archetypes released by Legendary Games clocks in at 36 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page introduction, 1 page ToC,4 pages of SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 25 pages of content, though it should be noted that, as always for Legendary Games, there’s a lot of content crammed into these pages.

    We begin with the Alterationist alchemist archetype, who must be an aberration to qualify for the archetype. The archetype replaces the formulae component of alchemy with the ability to cast psychic spells drawn from the alchemist list as a mesmerist, using Int-mod as governing key ability modifier. The archetype retains bombs and mutagen and begins play with Extra Bombs instead of Brew Potion. The archetype also begins play with a psychic blast which is a mind-affecting effect that employs the same rules as bombs, but deals untyped damage – this replaces bombs and is treated as a bomb substitute – the aforementioned feat does instead modify these blasts, and there is a discovery that lets you inflict fire damage instead. As a limiter for the VERY potent untyped damage, the ability is treated as a mind-affecting ability, though energy damage inflicted gets rid of this descriptor, which goes a way to validate the fire damage discovery. Mutagen is altered to instead be continent on a psychic charge that is stored internally and activated as a standard action, though but one of these may be kept at any time. The interaction of discoveries with formulae is addressed to instead apply to spells, with a sensible array of limitations imposed. Instead of swift alchemy and poison use, we get a darkvision range increase by 30 ft. Poison resistance and immunity are replaced with a +2 bonus to saves vs. confusion, insanity, madness and effects that cause Wisdom damage and drain, which improves by +2 at 5th and 8th level, while 10th level provides immunity to confusion and insanity effects, madness and Wisdom damage/drain. 6th level provides a +2 bonus to saves vs. divination and enchantment, which is doubled at 18th level, replacing swift alchemy and instant alchemy. The archetype also comes with a variant, the philosophic transmuter, which is available sans being an aberration; this modifies the sight-upgrade and the latter bonus versus enchantments and divinations is replaced with one that applies to extraordinary, supernatural and spell-like abilities of oozes and aberrations.

    Next up would be the Astropsychic, who gets planteray adaptation and the mass version (both are btw. reproduced here!) added to the spell-list. At 1st and 7th level, the archetype chooses an oracle revelation chosen from the dark tapestry or heavens mystery, with a few choices prohibited. Instead of phrenic amplifications or major amplifications, a revelation may be chosen, using the class level as oracle level, and Intelligence as the governing key ability for DCs, if applicable. Cloak of darkness and cloak of many stars may be chosen, but not activated at the same time – cool. 2nd level nets ½ class level as a morale bonus to Knowledge checks to identify abilities and weaknesses of aliens, a term concisely defined, fyi. The bonus also applies to knowledge (local) checks made to identify the cultural peculiarities. This replaces detect thought. At 2oth level, the archetype gets to choose the whether to take the regular capstone or a final revelation, but in an interesting twist, the archetype may only choose the final revelation of the mystery for which he has more revelations than the other. This rewards specialization without penalizing diversity. Nice!

    Next up would be the aura master investigator, who begins play with Psychic Sensitivity. The archetype replaces poison lore, resistance and immunity with a scaling saving throw bonus versus mind.influencing effects that becomes immunity at 10th level. 2nd level provides psychic aura: This begins as personal, but improves to also allowing for a ranged aura at 3rd level, with a 10-ft.-radius, with 5th level and every two thereafter increasing the range. Once activated, an aura lasts until changed or until the character is knocked out. The aura type can be changed as a swift action, and the establishing of an aura similarly is a swift action. 7th, 13th and 19th level provide the option to have an additional personal psychic aura in effect at a given time, with 9th and 16th level providing the means to maintain an additional ranged aura. Here’s the cool thing: These auras are basically buffs that enhance other healing tricks, bonuses to weapon damage, save buffs, resistance, DR – basically, we get super flexible self- and ally buffing without requiring resources! I really liked this, and yes, balance-wise, these are relevant and potent, but since they replace alchemy and swift alchemy, they better should be. Starting at 8th level, two auras may be activated with the same action, and similarly, they may be changed. This improves further to three auras at 16th level. I really like this one – it is flexible, and radically different from the base class.

    The indomitable kineticist must be a geokineticist with earth as elemental focus at 1st level. The archetype may choose other elements later. The archetype does not gain basic geokinesis and does not gain utility wild talents at higher levels, nor may the archetype take Extra Wild Talent – ouch! So, what do we get instead? When attacking with an unarmed strike the indomitable gets full BAB, and inflicts 1d6 (1d4 if Small) damage, with 5th level, 9th and every 4 thereafter adding +1 to atk and damage with them. This replaces the infusion gained at 7th level – minor nitpick here: This should probably specify that it’s gained at 1st level, not at the usual substitution ability level. Unsurprisingly regarding this one, the Improved Unarmed Strike feat is gained at first level, and the archetype gets the kinetic form infusion, with burn cost reduced to 0. Kinetic blast may not be used sans form infusions, nor with the chain, extended range, extreme range, foe throw, flurry of blasts or many throw form infusions, nor with any that require a ranged attack or ranged touch attack roll, basically a kineticist martial artist. As long as the kineticist is only a geokineticist, the indomitable detects as non-magical, and even gather power or elemental overflow require magic and a CL to detect. LOVE this one!! 2nd level and every 2 levels thereafter net a list from a smartly-chosen array of bonus feats contained on a pretty massive list, these replacing the utility wild talents. Instead of the 3rd level ability, we get immunity to all diseases, including magical ones. At 5th level, the archetype may accept 2 points of additional Burn to increase the kinetic fist base damage die one step, with 9th and 13th level providing further die-size increases at higher Burn costs. This replaces the infusions gained at these levels. This is actually a really cool hybrid-y archetype with quite a bit of its own flair. Like it!

    The next archetype is the iron mind barbarian, who must be non-chaotic and gains a modified class skill list and uses Intelligence as governing attribute for the social skills, replacing fast movement. Instead of trap sense, the archetype gets Bravery (great if you’re using Rogue Genius Games’ bravery feats…). Instead of 4th and 16th level’s rage powers the iron mind gets limited telepathy, which increases in range from a basis of 30 ft., with +10 ft. at 5th level, to a maximum of 100 ft. 8th level replaces the rage power with a 1/week commune with the Akashic Record. 12th level dazed targets on a failed save if they try to initiate mental contact, replacing the rage powers gained at 12th and 20th level. This does not allow for telepathy cheesing. The archetype comes with a variant that represents a slightly more primitive version that does not get all of the more “civilized” abilities. Interesting tweak on the barbarian as the party’s face.

    The kinetic wizard decides upon a kinetic focus chosen from the 4 base energy types at first level, which also nets the associated basic utility option and determines the blast energy type, with 7th and 15th level providing another energy type. As you could glean from that, the archetype receives kinetic blasts, as kineticist of an equal level, with 2nd level allowing for the sacrifice of 1st level or higher prepared spell slots to increase the blast’s damage output as a free action. Only one spell per blast may be sacrificed, and a massive, handy damage table shows off Julian Neale’s understanding of math. The extra damage granted is not multiplied on a critical hit, and the chassis is sound. A designer’s explanation makes the reasoning beyond the chosen outputs even obvious for mathematically less gifted GMs and players. While the blasts are less flexible than those of the kineticist, the wizard is already the flexibility king, and the requirement of resource-expenditure plus basic blast damage chosen mean that the archetype clocks in at a good option that will not break anyone’s game. Really impressive.

    The martial occultist gets proficiency with all armors and full BAB-progression as well as the option to activate aegis, inspired assault, legacy weapon, philosopher’s touch or quickness as a swift action when targeting self only or the martial occultist’s equipment. Inspired assault, legacy weapon and philosopher’s stone also last until dismissed, until the item leaves the martial occultist’s possession, etc. The archetype may not use the servitor base focus power (conjuration) and may not gain conjuration or necromancy resonant powers and also is prohibited from choosing a few focus powers. The martial occultist loses spellcasting and must use UMD for spell-trigger and –completion items. Selecting conjuration as implement school, he gets Implement Focus (conjuration) as a bonus feat – analogue for necromancy. 4th level and every 4 levels thereafter nets bonus combat feats. This replaces magic skill, object reading, outside contact and the circle-abilities. I actually really enjoy this take on the martial occultist! It’s a technical engine-tweak, but it is one that is well-executed and distinct.

    Martial seers are paladins or antipaladins that gain +1 to atk and damage versus creatures of their opposed alignment on the good-evil axis, with 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter increasing that bonus. The ability interacts with a change of how the smite engine works, with separate instances of the ability properly codified for both qualifying base classes. The archetype casts spells as a medium, but draws them from the paladin/antipaladin spell list, with 3 spells per spell-level added to represent the seer angle. Divine health or plague bringer, as well as mercies/cruelties are replaced with full-powered object reading, and channel energy makes way for at-will standard action (Not always on, thank the 7 heavens…) aura sight. Once more, sufficiently distinct in both flavor and tricks employed. Like it!

    The psychic may also choose to become a psychic hunter, who is locked into the rapport psychic discipline and receives diminished spellcasting. Instead of phrenic amplifications, we get the tactician, greater/master tactician ability tress, with 3rd level instead replacing the phrenic amplification with an aura of mental static that impedes psychic spellcasting. The psychic oracle gets a custom selection of wisely chosen and flavorful spells replacing the standard mystery spells, and is locked into transcendental bound at 1st level, while 7th level locks you into the egregore cultist revelation, which makes you automatically succeed the save to avoid being sickened from cult mind members leaving. The link gets a longer range and may be established quicker. The archetype also notes that it works in conjunction with the rage prophet – it’s a small thing, but this level of system mastery-based advice for novices makes the complex options within more accessible…so yeah, neat. The rage lord barbarian picks an emotion focus every day, starting at 1st level, and basically is 7 archetypes in one. You see, each form of emotional focus significantly alters the benefits of rage and class features gains at 1st, 2nd 6th, 11th and 20th level. A lesser book would have made them separate archetypes – here, a handy table conserves space and makes the archetype more accessible. Additionally, the archetype can use touches to compel emotions in targets! Once more, designer’s commentary explains the design rationale to less system-savvy players to see their uses. I really applaud this. This archetype is a resounding success – plus, the Cha-boosting despair rage, the Wis-boosting dedication rage etc. can make the character feel much more versatile than just a hulking brute. One of my all-time favorite barbarian archetypes!

    In contrast to the tumultuous bard, the soulful druid also chooses an emotional focus, but is locked into it, with 7th level providing bonus spells as if Emotional Focus of the chosen emotion had been taken. The druid is locked into a domain and does not gain domain slots, instead adding them to spells known. Spellcasting wise, the archetype uses Charisma as governing spellcasting attribute and casts spells as an oracle, gaining its own custom spellcasting table as well as summon nature’s ally spells. 7th level nets an emotion aura akin to a spiritualist’s phantom, governed by Charisma, applying all effects to the soulful druid instead. Wild shape may only be executed 1/day. Really like this one as well! (And yes, once more explanations are provided!)

    The tranquil occultist gets a code of conduct that avoids the killing of sentient lifeforms, and may not be neutral or chaotic evil – I’m pretty happy this fellow may be lawful evil – a lawful evil pacifist is a cool character concept I’ve been looking at for a while…Anyway, the archetype gets only one implement school at 1st level, but this is made up for by a potent array of bonus spells. The archetype also starts with Merciful Spell sans increasing casting time, and may apply it to focus power effects. Using legacy weapon, if available, to grant the merciful special ability (italicization missing), the duration lasts until dismissed. The archetype replaces the circle abilities with aura of courage and aura of resolve, as well as aura of righteousness, though the later has the DR modified to /chaos. Fun tweak for a high-concept idea!

    The trick master mesmerist gets diminished spellcasting and may implant class level + Charisma modifier tricks per day, with Extra Trick providing double the tricks per day instead. The archetype may, from 1st level onwards, have two tricks implanted in himself at any given time, but still may only trigger one per round. 5th level increases that to 3, with 9th level and every 4 thereafter further improving that number by +1. At 5th level, allies may have two tricks implanted, but only one per individual may be triggered per round. 9th level and 17th level improve these caps by +1. Starting at 5th level, the trick master may change an implanted trick sans losing the use of the ability spent implanting the trick on himself, with 11th level allowing that for allies as well. Starting at 12th level, this ability also works on master tricks. The archetype gets a capstone for devastating trick flexibility. Neat one!

    The pdf closes with 18 feats, though these deserve special mention, as they are often pretty specific and extensive. Shield Against the Supernatural and Supernatural Slayer are reprinted from radiance House’s Pact Magic, with proper credits given – kudos! Several of these feats make use of Dampened Versatility and may be taken in lieu of utility wild talents by elemental annihilators. Hydrokineticists with cold blast may not choose Absorb Violent Energies, as the feats renders vulnerable to cold, but also nets DR or energy resistance – and when an effect would negate the damage, you’re treated as having gathered power as a move action. sigh Give me a henchman, tell him to activate that sparker or hold the torch right under my arm. That’s it. Not my fire resistance means I auto-gather any round. -.- Such an obvious cheese.

    Accelerating Kinetics is interesting – it allows you to increase your movement rate temporarily based on Burn accepted or obviated. This is per se great, but unfortunately, the rules-language is slightly wonky: The bonus should be codified as enhancement bonuses to prevent stacking, and the bonus speed lacks the “ft.” a couple of times. This is particularly obvious since the feat otherwise does a great job at limiting it, as the benefits are halved by effects that hamper conjuration (teleportation). Enhanced Guarded Hearth provides synergy of the class feature and effects à la hallow etc. for longer duration. Nice! Force-focusing oath lets you take monk vows…which is nice, but the feat lacks its prerequisite line, which, since it builds on buffer, is pretty jarring. :/

    Godhood from the Bottom of a Bottle makes you basically a drunken master-ish kineticist, allowing you to use alcohol for gather power or internal buffer tricks, though the feat also makes you sickened upon using it, though the penalties are negated while you have at least my one temporary burn point. You can also blast while nauseated, and the feat nets Drunken Brawler synergy, if any…Just one thing: Never be caught sans alcohol… This feat and the others within offer internal synergies, btw. Heir to the Power Unstable is the single longest feat I have read to this date: In the economically-sized font of the pdf, it still takes up more than a whole page! The feat makes your family members automatically succeed all saves versus your kineticist abilities and immune to energy damage you deal with them. They also get DR versus your kineticist physical ability scores. Gather power draws unattended, light objects, dust etc. to you. This codifies gasses and acids etc. and how they interact with this well. Here is the thing: Depending on your elemental focus, expanded element and simple blasts chosen, the ability has different effects! These include light nosebleeds and blood flowing towards you (Sympathetic magic, anyone?), winds that buffet flyers, extinguishing flames, stone attraction etc. Other elements gained add their benefits! Unique: When gathering power, creatures nearby may choose to move 5 ft. to you as a free action, and yes, this is codified properly regarding 5-foot-step and difficult terrain interaction. Here’s where things become OP: Gather power to negate burn, accepting burn or using internal buffer also nets you an AoE bull rush based on Con instead of Str, and targets thus pushed back ALSO are affected by a trip! If they are tripped, they also are affected by ¼ blast base damage. Okay, the angle that family members are immune is great – but all those additional things in combination? That should be at least two feats. Improved Menacing Stance applies the penalties to all foes in reach. Selective Psychic Disruption Aura allows you to exclude allies. Psycho Crusher lets an indomitable take Extra Wild Talent as a Limited Versatility bons feat.

    Incredible Hidden Power nets you Dual identity and Seamless Guise and the Transformation Sequence of the Magical Child archetype, though the feat, to nitpick, does not note that kineticist levels are equal to vigilante levels for the purpose. 7th level nets Quick Change, 13th Immediate Change. While in social identity, you suffer -4 to Strength for Strength checks and combat maneuver checks, but +ü2 to Escape Artist and Stealth. Elemental overflow in social identity is considered to be suppressed, and you may not use burn in that identity. Tough one, plus pretty potent for just one feat. Tidalwave of Raw Power hastens your transformation for burn, and is echanged for the next feat at 13th level. Mask of Raw Divinity nets AoE-demoralize while you have a point of Burn, with Con-mod added to the skill-check. This is usually a class feature, and that sans the bonus. Additionally, damaging targets with blasts nets you a swift demoralize that ALSO makes the target flat-footed versus your attacks. At higher levels, you can also choose for daze or stuns, but why bother? These have a save to negate, when the flat-footed effect doesn’t. WTF. Not getting near my game. It also is missing the special prerequisite it mentions. Next.

    There is a new Style herein – though the header of the Style has not been properly formatted. Serene Style nets you +1 Touch of Serenity and increases DC. Serene Grace allows for more control and multiclassing trickery and Serene Ascendance has an upgrade for the base ability. Love that this one builds on touch of serenity. Finally, the Terrifying Blow Combat/monster feat lets you sue the awesome blow combat maneuver with claws and slams. This is limited, thankfully, but does allow for some Awesome Blow-based tricks, with particularly intricate synergy tricks. Solid one!

    Conclusion:

    Editing and formatting are meticulous and nigh-perfect during the archetype chapter; in the feat-chapter, the integrity dips noticeably in both formal and rules-language integrity – there, things become just okay/good. Layout adheres to a 2-column full-color standard, and the pdf sports several full-color artworks, some of which are gorgeous indeed – and I have not seen all of them before! The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

    This pdf clearly shows that two authors, Julian Neale and Clinton boomer, have penned it – I am not sure who penned what, but I have my suspicions. Anyhow, this pdf is a bit of a hard case for me as a reviewer: You see, when I was done with the archetype chapter, I was smiling from ear to ear – the archetypes herein are all killer, no filler! One can really see Julian Neale’s improvement as a designer – he has always done mechanically interesting things, but here, he marries unique FLAVOR with even small engine tweaks. This is one of the coolest archetype selections I have ever read in a single book. I did not consider any of them boring, bland, or problematic – they all have something going for it and often are inspired indeed!

    And then, the feat chapter came. Don’t get me wrong. I like the ambition and flavor of almost all of the feats. I really do. However, I have balance-concerns regarding more than one. There’s a super-avoidable cheesing trick here, and rules-integrity similarly is not as meticulously tight as before. While I love Heir to Unstable Power, for example, it is frankly broken in its current iteration. You’d be stupid to not take it. Where the archetype chapter is an example of design excellence, the feat chapter feels rushed in more than one way and could have really used a critical eye.

    …and this is a real pity, for the book’s archetype section is phenomenal. In fact, were I to rate the feat-section on its own, I’d rate it as 3.5 stars; the archetypes, on the other hand, would be easy 5 stars + seal of approval. Heck, I’d frankly have to think about making them a candidate for my Top Ten. As noted, they really do manage to combine flavorful and mechanically-relevant design in an excellent manner.

    But how to rate the book in its entirety? Here things become pretty tough for me. I can’t rate the archetypes on their own, but ultimately, they imho justify getting this pdf all on their own. While the feat-chapter’s flaws prevent me from rating this as highly as I’d like to, it’d be unfair to not not acknowledge the excellence in the archetype design. If you want to ignore the feats, or if you simply don’t care about the flaws I mentioned, instead consider this to be a 5 star + seal of approval file. As a reviewer, I have to rate the entirety, though. Hence, my official final verdict will clock in at 4 stars, but, the pdf still gets my seal of approval.

    Endzeitgeist out.



    Rating:
    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    Occult Archetypes II
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    Legendary Villains: Wicked Witches
    by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/03/2018 04:56:05

    An Endzeitgeist.com review

    This installment of the NPC/villain-centric toolkits of options clocks in at 36 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 2 pages of introduction, 2 pages of advertisements, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 27 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

    We begin this supplement with 3 new witch archetypes, the first of which would be the consort of fiends: This archetype, obviously, is in league with entities from the lower planes, and as such, is locked into conspiracy, death, decadence, plague, nightmares or revenge as far as patrons go. The archetype gets a “devil’s mark” of sort, which may be identified by knowledgeable characters, and she radiates evil as a cleric of her level, regardless of actual alignment. Instead of the 6th level hex, the archetype gets a potent familiar chosen from a list, with, at the GM’s discretion, CR 3 or below fiends qualifying. 10th level adds +4 to Str and Con of creatures called via conjuration (calling) or (summoning) spells, and nets the consort an untyped +4 bonus to Charisma checks to procure the services of summoned creatures, with costs being halved. This ability also nets planar ally et al. as additions to the spell list, with 13th and 16th level unlocking new spells as spell known. The ability replaces the hex usually gained at that level. At 18th level, instead of the hex, the archetype learns to cast Wish 3/week…but at a cumulative 30% chance to have the wish twisted horribly. As an aside, I tend to do that for all non-codified uses of wish anyway, because I roll old-school when it comes to that kind of spell, and I know many folks that do the same, but that is not the archetype’s fault.

    The second archetype is the curio collector, who may gain information on magic items by studying them for a minute, gaining the information that would usually be yielded by detect magic and a successful Spellcraft check. This ability’s information also includes one tidbit of potential historic significance, if any…and finally, the witch gets some idea about the last handler of the item – a brief vision, an emotional state and the like, somewhat akin to psychometry. Amazing one! Flavorful, useful in investigations, yet not broken or problematic. This replaces the 2nd level hex. Two thumbs up! Instead of 6th level’s hex, we get the curse expert ability, which improves her class level for the purpose of this object reading trick, and she may dispense of cursed items without a hitch. The witch also gets +2 to saves to resist curses. This replaces the 6th level hex. 10th level replaces the hex with the ability to craft cheap items with horrible drawbacks –curses. Needful things, anyone? 14th level allows the curio collector to forge a special bond with items touched as a move action. She knows the general position of the target, and the owner of the item suffers a bad debuff to saves against her “…resist scrying, nightmare, or similar spells cast by the curio collector...“ – this is NOT rules-language. What constitutes a “similar spell”? No idea.

    Archetype number 3 is the shadow sister, who is locked into the shadow patron. The archetype gets darkvision (or increases it), and 8th level improves that to work in magical darkness and even allow for color distinction. Again, this replaces the 2nd level hex. 10th level nets a shadow minion, minus incorporeal touch and spawn creation, which can cast mage hand at will. This shadow minion is her own shadow, and while she does not have it, her spell and hex save DC is slightly reduced. 14th level improves the shadow’s stats to greater shadow. 18th level nets the ability to possess targets via the shadow. As before, the appropriate hexes are exchanged for these new abilities. All in all, not exactly the most impressive shadow-themed archetype.

    The pdf also provides a complex 10-level PrC, the Hag Matron. The witch must be evil to qualify, have a +5 BAB, the coven hex and be capable of casting 3rd level spells. Additionally, a specific rite with a hag or hag-matron must be performed to qualify. Subheaders here are, in a weird layout glitch, cut in half. The PrC gets d8 HD, 4 + Int skills per level and no new proficiencies, 7/10 spellcasting progression and good Ref- and Will-saves. 3rd level and every 3 levels thereafter yield a new hex. Cool: The PrC nets dual identity at first level, yielding a comely form and a hag form – somewhat akin to the vigilante ability. Fits perfectly! The forms bestow a bonus/penalty to social skills depending on the form, which improves further at 8th level versus targets attracted to the matron. Such targets also take a minor penalty to saves. 10th level makes the transformation potentially cause targets to be shaken. Transition is, fyi, a standard action.

    The first level also means she has to choose her hag blood (erroneously referred to as hag power, the subset ability of hag’s blood, in the table). There are 5 such hag blood types provided: They yield an ability at 1st, 4th, 7th and 10th level, and cover annis, green, night, winter and sea hag as types. Annis focuses on Strength and the enhancement of claws, which are btw. granted at second level by the PrC, regardless of blood type chosen, and which scale with existing claws etc. The annis blood type gets rend and size category growth.

    The green blood type gets sound mimicry, whispering wind, strength sapping and pass without trace in swamps, as well as striding there. The capstone nets Str-damage, but in a big kudos, the damage per target caps, preventing ridiculous dragon-slaying without invalidating the ability. Kudos. Night blood type nets resistances, a lesser form of heartstone, dream haunting, and the ability to cause souls trapped in the heartstone to be consumed to enhance magical might. This ability, alas, is cheesable: While you can only trap 1 soul per day, the HD has no bearing on the benefit of soul consumption, which means you’ll be slowly storing cute kitten souls to burn…blergh.

    The sea blood type makes the PrC amphibious, nets 3/day a staggering gaze that improves at 10th level, as well as horrific appearance, which can cause Strength damage on a failed save. Winter, finally, nets pass without a trace in ice and snow and striding, as well as spider climb on ice. The blood type also nets a 3/day cold breath weapon with blinding added, a DIY icy quarterstaff that nets you a 1/day SP cone of cold and a cold apotheosis at 10th level. The blood types also govern the coven the class gets.

    4th level nets undetectable alignment, 5th level 10 + hag matron or 10 + ½ HD , whichever is higher, SR at 5th level. 6th level nets darkvision 60 ft., and 8th level nets two hags, governed by hag blood type, for the coven. This gets interaction with Leadership right and improves at 10th level.

    Now, the next section is one I kinda expected for the base class – we get patron specific oaths. Such an oath may be entered at any time as a 10-minute ceremony, but violation has the usual oathbreaking consequences, with atonement etc. required to renounce an oath made. 20 such oaths are included, each associated with a prerequisite patron. I really like this further differentiation between patrons. These oaths are interesting: witches of the Transformation patron may, for example, swear the oath of change, which makes them agents of change, for good or ill, and prevents preparing more than one instance of a given spell (metamagic does count), but also grants more flexibility when using polymorph spells and increase their save DCs. Entropy witches are forced to destroy objects or kill, with the sole object of fulfilling the oath, which means that kitten will die, as the ability has no caveat to prevent the murder of fluffy animals to fulfill it. The oath nets you a bonus to saves versus death effects, and +1 to the DC of death spells and those that destroy objects. The oath of frost makes you emanate cold, but also makes you vulnerable to fire and heat, but enhances the associated spells and buffs Dex and Con by 2 in cold environments. You get the idea of these. The oaths, per se, are a cool idea, but their benefits and restrictions vary wildly, without a discerning pattern. The oath of grace requires a Dex-check at the end of the day, after a training exercise. Three consecutive failures break the oath. That is just sucky. If the check was at least a skill, sure…but this way? A straight ability check? And yes, mathematically, it’s not likely, but we all know that the player taking this oath WILL fail it sooner or later. Rules are also not always clear: The oath of madness nets you an insanity of your choice, +1 at 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter. Okay, got it. Curing the insanity violates the oath, but verbiage doesn’t make clear whether a violation consists of curing ALL insanities, or whether curing 1 already qualifies. The nightmare oath can potentially kill you with untyped damage while you sleep – the save to negate the scaling damage if 10 + 1/2 your witch level + your Int-modifier. You get the idea – the oaths are good concept, but benefits are not necessarily exciting enough for the at times very serious violation penalties.

    The pdf also includes 7 new hexes: Animate objects is a limited form of object animation that reminded me of Disney’s famous musical Fantasia. Abuse is prevented by the limitations and Strength of the object. Buoyancy makes the witch hard to drown, nets better holding of breath and later, limited swim speed as well as limited water walk. Haruspex does what it says on the tin and improves over the levels. Skull Sentinel nets a macabre alarm that later upgrades to selective and scales regarding radius covered. Spectral deliverance is broken for low levels: The witch can target a creature of which she has a possession of with hexes, regardless of distance. Long range takes longer, and the target has a vision of the witch, but still – that should have a high minimum level, in spite of limited daily uses. Witch cake is cool: Cursed targets are involved in the creation, and once the cake is consumed, the cursing creatures take damage based on the respective spell level. Spell-less curses are taken into account. Since the creation takes 8 hours, you can’t abuse this to at-range kill off cursing targets, at least not effectively. Witch’s Milk boost the familiar and nets an SP from the spells known for the familiar.

    The book also provides 7 magical items, with two weaponized brooms, a storage hat, a hat with special eyes that enhances perception and has 1/day abilities based on it, but also prevents from averting eyes, and 3 different, nice cauldrons. If you get the pdf, though, it will be for the last section of it: Lesser familiars. What’s that? Well, know how many folks prefer the magical creatures granted by Improved Familiar, but don’t want to wait and/or don’t have the feat to spare in the build? This section remedies that by providing less potent variants of the most popular familiar choices for evil (or at least, morally challenged) witches, cut down to CR 1/2 . Included are tripurasura, cacodemon, quasit, imp, doru, shadow drake, nuglub gremlins, isitoqs, augur kytons, spirit one, cythnigots, raktavarna, ratling and esipil shakling. This section somewhat remedies the book in my book, and is super helpful.

    Conclusion: Editing and formatting are good on a formal and rules-language level, though not as tight as usual for Legendary Games. Layout adheres to the 2-column full-color standard of the Reign of Winter plug-ins, and the pdf sports some nice full-color artworks, though fans of LG will be familiar with most of them. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

    The legendary villains series is a bit of a tough cookie for me as a reviewer. I am never 100% sure whether the options are intended for NPCs only, as is the case sometimes, or for evil PCs as well. As far as power-levels are concerned, this book should, for the most part, not break the game and feels very much like a player-supplement. I will thus rate it as such.

    Sooo…I was a bit disappointed by this pdf. The archetypes are okay, but don’t do anything new – I’ve seen all of them done, theme-wise, before…and, alas, better. The PrC has a cool angle with the two forms, but never truly embraces its two modes. Having dual abilities based on hag type would have been really cool and emphasized the unique nature of the PrC – it’s a nice chassis, but the PrC doesn’t do much with it. The patron oaths are a great concept, though their execution is less awe-inspiring than I hoped, mainly opting for an escalation of numbers. The hexes are a bit ofa mixed bag, and the items are solid. The lesser familiars are the one chapter within this book that made me smile, but as a whole, Alex Riggs’ take on witches felt like it had great ideas and lost interest at one point; the actual execution, compared to most crunch-books by legendary games, is simply less exciting. It’s not bad in any shape, way or form, mind you, but it also falls short of the coolness the concepts herein deserved. Ultimately, this one left me a bit disappointed. My final verdict will clock in at 3.5 stars, and I can’t bring myself to round up.

    Endzeitgeist out.



    Rating:
    [3 of 5 Stars!]
    Legendary Villains: Wicked Witches
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    Alien Bestiary (Starfinder)
    by Chris V. D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/02/2018 21:58:18

    Do not let the fact that many of the monsters in this book are revised versions of creatures from previous sources deter you from purchasing this product! This book has plenty of new material for GM's to use!

    I know its a very short and brief review, but This is an essential book to own for your Starfinder game!



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Alien Bestiary (Starfinder)
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    Orphans of the Hanged Man
    by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/02/2018 04:18:42

    An Endzeitgeist.com review

    This adventure clocks in at 40 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of introduction, 1 page ToC, 1.5 pages of SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 30.5 pages of content, though it should be noted that, as always for Legendary Games, the layout manages to fit quite a lot of content on these pages.

    Now, before we start: This is a level 1 adventure and assumes the medium advancement track. There is one more thing that sets this apart: This module is intended to be run for a single PC. Yes, this adventure is actually designed to be a viable one-on-one module for one GM and a player; as an aside, it is very much possible to tackle this adventure as a group. Particularly for groups new to PFRPG, this may well make sense, as the adventure is rather fair. It does decrease the challenge, obviously, but it can provide an appropriate segue into the Curse of the Crimson Throne AP without becoming as deadly as the APs first two modules are. So yeah, this does a good job as an AP plug-in.

    At the same time, it should be noted that this adventure is not necessarily tied to Korvosa – it is very easy to convert the adventure to another metropolis. Provided there is crime, a bit of squalor and street urchins, as in most cities, this will require no further work to adapt.

    It should be noted that the module contains a specialized light-source for thieves as a mundane piece of equipment; there also are a few low-cost magic items and a new poison included. The magic items, while helpful, will not break the AP, if you choose to run it. Now, one-on-one adventures tend to be punishing on spellcasters in particular, though this one is very much manageable for spellcasters. It is probably easier for skill monkeys and martial characters, but a smartly-played spellcaster can very much succeed here. Considering their fragility at first level, this is pretty impressive. The DCs of skill uses etc. are very conservative and low, providing decent chances for success, even if the PC does not have the skill.

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

    ..

    .

    The module begins with the PC living in a rather poor hovel – and to make matters worse, the coughing old crone next door complains about your “friends” visiting – well, it turns out that the PC’s place has been trashed, a makeshift trap balanced on top of the entry door. This trap will not kill the PC, but it will provide a first idea to remain careful. A small noose hangs from the ceiling…the calling card of the legendary thief known as “The Hanged Man.”

    The old crone, when questioned, can help cleaning the place “Don’t tell people I have magic, dearie.” – and also assist in minor magic identification for doing her chores. From here on, we have a free-form investigation, with 4 results per general topic provided and thus, degrees of success and information applied. The DCs are low enough to allow for easy and painless use of this section. Even total failure in every regard will not prevent the PC from finishing the adventure.

    The “Orphans of the Hanged Man” ride the coattails of the fame of the fabled thief, trying to establish his calling card as theirs – the aforementioned noose. The PC can happen upon three of their thugs trying to coerce the street urchin Collin into their gang. The thugs will recognize the PC if undisguised, and will not attempt to kill the character – though a sound beating may occur. Here, their tactics should be commended: They make sense, but allow the PC a fighting chance: They tumble and attempt to demoralize in the first round, and their use of grappling and nonlethal attacks prevents undue frustration due to bad rolls here.

    The investigation that follows this encounter, with Collin as a new ally, is actually heart-warming and a tone I personally always fail to evoke when I try: It manages to depict kindness and hope in even the dire and poor straits that exist in the slums. From the melancholy watchman to a girl in love, these happenstances provide glimpses into a simple, yet endearing life: The slums may be a place of poverty, but it’s also a place of life, in all of its facets. The girl I mentioned? She is planning a rendez-vous with her fling and may provide an angle – as PC and Collin seek to get a steak for the PC’s bruised eye, they may hit jackpot thanks to the girl and an overheard conversation – and thus, the PC will find a wizened, venerable old man…the Hanged Man, who is not amused by the Oprhans slandering his name. Duly amused by the PC finding him, he grants the PC a magical ring that can help particularly roguish PCs. He also provides some cryptic clues and challenges the PCs that he, back in the day, has left a test of sorts – the rest of his goods will need to be earned. Once more, this contextualizes the man as a scoundrel, but as one with a good heart. If the PC asks, he’ll even tell the character how he avoided being hanged.

    Anyways, the trail to the Hanged Man’s erstwhile base leads to the sewers below the “Crimson Shears”, a tailor’s shop. The sewer intersection is duly mapped in gorgeous full color, and yes, we do get player-friendly maps! Huge plus there! It is here that the PC can help a grindylow fight off some dire rats…and saving the grindylow’s buddy will net further benefits. Once more, a theme of nobility is conveyed and rewarded. This taps into a unique idea: In order to find the entrance, the PCs have to find a faux-aged boat, draw a pin, and have the boat flip over: With a bubble of air, the boat can be capsized in a controlled manner, providing access to the entrance! There are means to discern this, but helping the grindylow also provides a pantomime that cues in the PC.

    Once more, this is a pretty simple set-up that does not require magic, but at the same time, it is clever enough to warrant not having been found yet. If the PC would drown, a parasitic fey can act as a last-ditch save, providing consequences for failure without resulting in a “game over.” The PC finds the first part of the Hanged Man’s magical snapleaf key here. The tunnels terminate in a run-down tannery, and from here, the next locale is an abandoned warheouse oozing atmosphere and sporting some minor hazards as well as a giant flea…and there is a thankfully slow, legless skeleton prowling these grounds…and here, the PC can find a lucky penny as well as a clue to the Hanged Man’s abandoned base of operations – the sewer refuge the PC may have already explored…so yeah, there is more than one sequence in which these may be tackled.

    Beneath the warehouse, a three-level dungeon can be found. The dungeon, once more, is fully mapped, even including a side-view that highlights vertical connections, and yes, we once more actually get player-friendly maps here! Huge kudos! The complex has, in the mean time, been taken over by gremlins and an akaname, which serve as appropriately low-level threats. Did I mention the mold hazard that erases 30 minutes of time before being knocked unconscious by it? From training dummies to broken-down machinery, this also acts as a cool homebase/mini-defense scenario. Elganion, the adolescent and rather bitter elf that leads the Orphans, will sooner or later track down the PC with his crew – and smart PCs may use this cleared complex and allies like Collin to defeat the orphans! While this is intended to be the climax of the module, and as such, is pretty freeform, it’s just as possible to have the Orphans find the Hanged man’s complex after the PC has explored the majority of it…

    Anyways, within this complex, the second half of the snapleaf key (artwork included, just fyi!) awaits, and with it, the PC can open the secret room in the “mausoleum” of the Hanged Man – if she does, she’ll only have to defeat the consequence of the one premeditated murder the Hanged Man committed: The Beheaded that once was the informant that led to the Hanged Man…hanging.

    It should also be noted that the PC should not and need not kill any of the Orphans - not even Elganion! Aforementioned memory-loss inducing mold, combat challenge severity etc. does allow for the PC to solve the conflict with the orphans in nonlethal ways, and is preferable: This way, the PC may end up with a small network of informants, as the new and proper heir to the Hanged Man’s title!

    Conclusion:

    Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no glitches on a formal or rules-language level. Layout adheres to the elegant two-column full-color standard of the Curse of the Crimson Throne-plug-ins. The pdf sports quite a few impressive full-color artworks and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. The map-support deserves special mention: All relevant locales are mapped in GORGEOUS full-color, and come with player-friendly maps that have secret doors etc. redacted. Huge plus right there!

    Michael Allen and Matt Goodall have penned a tale that is almost Dickensian in its themes and atmosphere: There is a wholesome joy in this adventure and the interactions with the NPCs that is hard to describe. The emphasis on roleplaying and problem-solution over just rolling the bones is a big plus, and the module rewards esoteric skills here and there, while at the same time allowing the PC to finish the module successfully without requiring them. From the neat NPCs to the locations, this represents an incredibly rewarding adventure that makes for an actually good one-on-one module, even if you’re going for a spellcaster. That is hard to pull off.

    Furthermore, the adventure, in spite of being not explicitly designated as such, is in my opinion a family-friendly experience – kids at around 8 years should have no issues with this, while adults will similarly enjoy this. As always regarding age-recommendations: Parents know best how sensitive their kids are, and kids greatly diverge in what they consider to be cool/what they can handle.

    The emphasis on non-lethal problem-solution, the small tidbits of creepiness that are very much manageable…this is an adventure I’d run for my offspring, should I ever have kids, to introduce them to PFRPG. It’s not explicitly designed to work as such, but it does work this way if you choose to run it as such.

    It feels a bit like a story-arc in Oliver Twist or David Copperfield to me – it doesn’t coddle and treats the audience with respect, it does not paint the world in black and white, and is better off for it. The theme of a gang of bullies is something that most folks will be able to relate to. It is difficult, without being unfair or generating frustration. It’s not necessarily a good choice for the first module to GM (Trail of the Apprentice does that better), but to play? Yeah, this would get me more invested-

    In short, this is an excellent adventure I can wholeheartedly recommend – and not only for the context of Curse of the Crimson Throne! Highly recommended! My final verdict is 5 stars + seal of approval.

    Endzeitgeist out.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Orphans of the Hanged Man
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    Legendary Hybrids: Doomguard
    by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/24/2018 08:44:10

    An Endzeitgeist.com review

    This hybrid class clocks in at 37 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 1 page ToC, 2 pages of introduction, 1 .5 pages of SRD, 1 page of back cover, leaving us with 27.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

    This hybrid class was created from cavalier and ranger, and gets d10 HD, 4 + Int skills per level, proficiency with simple and martial weapons, light and medium armor and shields, excluding tower shields. The doomguard gets full BAB-progression and good Fort-saves. The class gets solid favored class options for the core races.

    The doomguard’s challenge-equivalent, usable 1/day at first level (plus an additional time per day for every 3 levels thereafter) is activated as a swift action, nets a scaling bonus to atk and damage as well as saves prompted by the target, and also nets immunity to fear prompted by that foe if that foe is a fated enemy. The bonuses scale every 4 levels. Here’s the unique thing: This is called defiance, and as such, the doomguard gains temporary hit points versus said foes, and defiance may delay the onset of a negative condition.

    As for fated enemy – this is obviously the equivalent of favored enemy, though it does come with meaningful variations – you can, for example, choose character classes! Witch or sorcerer hunter? There you go. I adore this choice. It’s so simple, yet incredibly flavorful. Also unique: This ties in with the doom – falling to the fated enemy makes returning the doomguard to life hard – this enemy, after all, was fated to defeat the doomguard! I love how this ties in flavorful concepts and leitmotif of the class.

    Beyond that, the class begins play at 1st level with a so-called doom. This doom represents the “doom” component and behaves somewhat akin to an oracle’s curse, sporting btw. advice for multiclassing – kudos! Unless I have miscounted, we get a staggering 45 (!!!) such dooms, and they are somewhat akin to curses in that they have a linear progression. Dooms provide benefits at 1st level, 5th, 10th and 15th level. The dooms are, in a way, one aspect that really carries the class.

    Is your body slowly rotting away? Do you destroy objects held? Are you haunted by disembodied voices? Are you mutating? Are you slowly becoming undead? Do sacrilegious voices constantly try to tempt you to a new credo? Do you bear stigmata? Perhaps, you are truly star-crossed, and natural rolls of 11 under stress are treated as 1s. Perhaps, you suffer from somnambulism…or perhaps the solipsism that has affected you crippled you, yes…but it also grants you significant powers! The interesting thing here is that the dooms range in their power-levels – they oscillate rather strongly, in fact…but at the same time, so do their benefits. When struck by a potent doom, you’ll also have considerable advantage bred from this. Some are in line with curses, while others are truly unique – and here, we can see LG’s crunch-design experience. I found no single doom that I’d consider to be off regarding this ratio. You can choose a doom that doesn’t severely impact the core playing experience…or you can go for a doom that radically changes how you need to play, but which also grants you unique benefits. Dooms take up a significant amount of the page-count, and the pages are, I’m happy to report, well-spent indeed. Curse-spread, internal parasites…there is one minor hiccup, a reference in the introduction to a Cursed feat that has been cut, but this does not compromise the integrity of the section in any way.

    2nd level nets a ranger combat style as well as +2 to saves versus curses, hexes, compulsions or bad luck/reroll enforcing abilities. 3rd level eliminates the penalties for charges and 4th level provides Heroic Defiance, but only for use with fated enemy-caused effects, but also for more uses and condition delays. 5th level nets +2 to Con-checks to avoid becoming fatigued/exhausted and quicker tracking. Some conditions may be offset by expending defiance (yay for more player-agenda!). At 7th level, we get a cohort, a familiar or an animal companion at -3 levels…and yes, this gets interactions right. At 8th level, attacking a foe other than the doomguard while threatened elicits an AoO – making the class work as a nice blocker. 9th level allows the doomguard to detect fated enemies, and may choose to further limit this detection ability, ensuring it’s actually useful. At 11th level, having line of sight to fated foes increases movement rate and the doomguard can also immediate action move 10 feet to pursue fated enemies trying to flee. 12th level allows the doomguard to forego critical bonus damage in other to impose the negative aspects of the doom on foes. Cool: Can’t be cheesed.

    17th level provides the means to bypass DR/hardness and cause full damage versus incorporeal foes. The capstone makes the doomguard a super-deadly foe for fated enemies, including the chance to permanently destroy even creatures that can potentially rejuvenate.

    The pdf also includes 4 different archetypes, the first of which would be the Challenger, who loses medium and shield proficiency, and uses Charisma instead of Wisdom as governing attribute for doomguard abilities. Instead of the companion, the class gets a scaling AC and CMD bonus while wearing light or no armor. Instead of combat style, the archetype gets a few bardic performances, and the 8th level ability is replaced with uncanny dodge. Okay engine tweaks. The second archetype is the Doomwarden, who does get heavy armor and tower shield proficiency. Instead of combat style, the doomwarden gets a massive array of armor-style feats sans prerequisites. 5th level provides improved maneuverability in armor ( less armor check penalty, better maximum Dexterity) as well as better movement, This does replace defiance. The class otherwise gets a modified 5th level ability to prevent save bonuses or pinpoint creatures etc. 12th level allows for reflexive use of defiance, including negating incoming damage. The archetype also comes with a potent 1/day last stand capstone that makes him a fearsome tank.

    The third archetype would be the fey foundling, who is prohibited from wearing metal armor. They do get woodland stride and resist nature’s lure, but does gain a unique companion (including pipefoxes, faerie dragons, etc.). That being said, the archetype learns to entice fey I, can at higher levels traverse the secret crossroads and backroads of the fey (amazing) and convert damage to nonlethal damage, adding curses on hits…or even causing targets to suffer from an iron allergy! Heck yeah! Oh, and becoming ageless. Kudos!

    Finally, there’d be the raven banner, who becomes fortified versus negative energy, death effects and energy levels. Instead of the 3rd level charge-enhancer, a simultaneous attack versus targets criting the raven banner can make for amazing mutual takedowns. 5th level nets banner (14th greater) and the banner retains its powers at higher levels for a couple of rounds when the raven banner’s slain. Badass: When slain by a non-fated enemy, the character can expend defiance to auto-breath of life! F*** YES! Good example for a fun engine tweak!

    Conclusion: Editing and formatting are very good on a formal and rules-language level. Layout adheres to legendary Games’ two-column full-color standard and there is a lot of content per page. We get a couple of gorgeous full-color artworks, including full-page pieces. Neat! The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

    As you all know, I’m pretty much in favor of constant player-agenda and choice – and in a way, the doomguard doesn’t deliver that. It’s not a class sporting a lot of choices, and building one is super-simple. That being said, it’s one of the single best examples ever for a simple, easy to grasp, yet superbly creative class. The doom-angle and vastly diverging playstyles and playing experiences born from them, rocks. From the dooms to the archetypes, the class is incredibly METAL. The concept of the doomed, potent hunter suffuses the whole class, offering exciting tweaks, and manages to be totally distinct from the parent classes.

    In short, this is not only a hybrid that stands out, and does so in a category of design that I usually loathe (linear classes), it does so with panache aplomb. Carl Cramér and Jason Nelson deliver a super cool hybrid here, one that absolutely deserves my highest accolades – 5 stars + seal of approval. Super recommended, one of the best hybrid classes out there! If you wanted to play a truly metal warrior-style character, look no further!

    Endzeitgeist out.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Legendary Hybrids: Doomguard
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    Book of True Evil (5E)
    by Peter M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/21/2018 19:27:33

    I don't think it'd be wise to use any of the material in here for player resources even if you were running an evil campaign due to balance issues. However, as a resource for making boss villains, this is fantastic - and for the same reason.

    A significant amount of the material in here is at least slightly overpowered compared to the core classes and feats of 5e, which is probably keeping with the product's intent: do a bunch of horrible, nasty things and get rewarded with lots of power by the Powers of Darkness, but it's been jacked up a little further than it should be. As an example: A standard feat in 5e is supposed to be about as good as an ASI (raise one ability score by +2 or raise two ability scores by +1 each). There is one in particular that gives +2 to both Strength AND Constitution and also allows you to throw as many 4d6+Strength modifier fire attacks as you have melee attacks (range of 150 ft). There's a drawback of having disadvantage on non-intimidate charisma checks against non-evil creatures, but that's a comparatively small tradeoff for something that's essentially two ASIs AND a ranged attack that's comparable to Eldritch Blast.

    That said, if you're building boss villains as a GM, stuff like that is appropriate - those foes SHOULD be scary and powerful. There's also a bunch of useful stuff about mundane medicine in a fantasy setting that potentially could be adapted into things like non-magical combat medics, some really interesting monsters (the demonic train is particularly cool) and some fun and different magical items (drinkable tentacles is my favorite because it can be ingested to grow some extra tentacles of thrown on the ground as an area denial attack). I also liked that it implied a more technological setting than standard D&D, but I will fully admit that that's my own bias - I'm running a more technological setting and so resources of that nature are extra-useful to me.

    All in all not a bad resource to have, just maybe not to use as intended.



    Rating:
    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    Book of True Evil (5E)
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    Hypercorps 2099
    by Jeff R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/17/2018 08:47:00
    Good but could be better
    • Received mt hardciver today. Was alsio readung through the PDF while waiting for the printed book. I have not completed a thorough read, but what I have read, I like. SHADOWRUN comes to mind pretty much right away.

    I do have a probem with the book received vs the PDF...

    The PDF has page numbers in the lower corners throughout the document. however the book is missing the page #'s entirely. There is no point to having a numbered index if there are no page # << screenshot >> I do not know if this was intentional or a mistake, however I am leaning towards error on the part of the printer. How would I go about getting this fixed?

    As the publisher has so quickly responded to my review here and to my direct email, I am updating my rewiew to better eflect my opinion.

    Though I have issues with the overall layout/presentation, :I think that material present is good, excellent even for the time period when it was written. Art is good as is the overall concept.



    Rating:
    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    Hypercorps 2099
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    Creator Reply:
    Hi Jeff, Sounds like a printer error but I'm having layout double-check the print interior files to make sure before we reprocess and send out a replacement. Email sent to you!
    Hero's Blood
    by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/17/2018 05:13:12

    An Endzeitgeist.com review

    This adventure clocks in at 57 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of introduction, 1 page ToC, 1 1/3 pages of SRD, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 46 2/3 pages of content – all of which sport a surprising amount of material, as Legendary Games books have a pretty high word-per-page-density.

    Okay, first things first: This adventure is intended for characters of 10th level and can thus fit pretty easily behind the 3rd adventure in the Curse of the Crimson Throne module, and before the 5th – the module provides a thematic continuation of the leitmotifs of colonial corruption that the first 3 modules sported, which are curiously absent from the otherwise intriguing and evocative 4th adventure. As such, theme-wise, this indeed enhances the AP. It should also be noted that this supplement includes a new corruption, making use of Horror Adventures’ rules. However, you do not necessarily need to have the Horror Adventure supplement to use this adventure.

    Really cool: There are two new, properly codified occult rituals that feature in the plot of the adventure, both of which employ the themes and leitmotifs established in the adventure path. As always for supplements in the series, we have an adventure that seamlessly integrate with the AP, employing filed off serial numbers that still allow you to easily note what is going on. A huge plus would btw. be that the amazing full-color maps do come with player-friendly versions for your convenience. Big comfort-plus here! Inexperienced GMs will enjoy the fact that we have extensive read-aloud texts accompanying the module.

    All right, as always, the following discussion contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump ahead to the conclusion.

    ..

    .

    All right, only GMs around? Great! So, the chaos in Korvosa has generated opportunity: The Shoanti (Sklar-Quah), have attacked a remote fort: Fort Hiraksos. When the PCs venture towards the fort, they find a massacre – the battlefield is littered with fallen Shoanti and members of the erstwhile garrison. All of the corpses show a specific pattern: Gaping chest-wounds. As the PCs explore the remnants of the fortress, they will have to contend with lethal undead, ranging from wights to callers in darkness and juvenile rukhs; there are deadly corpse flies and Hiraksos itself is a rather grim – the exploration of the grim keep is fantastic – even beyond the confines of the AP, the depiction of a haunted place of a true massacre is intriguing and flavorful, in both diverse enemy selection: We get unique haunts that add to the sense of decrepitude and metaphysical corruption – and the them of blood/flesh engendering fear is reinforced via, for example, ectoplasmic hungry flesh or a particularly nasty, unique wight.

    Speaking of which: Said sub-boss ties in with the Onochtu, the ravenous ones, deadly and vile spirits of shoanti myth, adding some intriguing myth-weaving to the proceedings; said spirits and their dark powers are what fuels the corruption of the culprit and the potent powers of foes faced here. The sub-boss can inflict the corruption of these spirits on victims…

    You see, Austan Mileswood, decorated Korvosan hero, driven insane, is working on a ritual to transcend his form, as an invisible timer is ticking away in the background, and dawdling may see him improve his darkened powers – and we btw. get a CR 10 and CR 11 statblock for this big boss as well as an extensive and well-written background story for this rather tragically flawed individual, who exemplifies so well that one people’s hero may be another people’s villain. Anyways, he has learned from the darksome shoanti spirits – that there lies strength in the hearts of the living, stealing the courage, metaphysically seated in the heart, from his victims. An addiction had formed, and what the PCs now witness, is the sad culmination of, what could be considered to be a fantastic take on a form of PTSD.

    Thus, in order to truly “win” in this adventure, the PCs will have to venture down into the ancient Well of Bloody Hearts, sanctified to the wicked cannibal spirits of old, where mummified clerics and warriors loom…but beyond these, brimstone oozes and a unique creature dubbed “The Tongue” await – the latter btw. is a unique aberration with a twisted artwork, and a cool, superbly depicted athach is here as well – and stopping Austan’s ritual is NO trifle. With aether elementals and his own, significant combat prowess, the charismatic “hero” makes for a formidable foe – and yes, he is multiclass’d and has a cool mechanical angle. Here, I should definitely mention that the timeline noted before is not just cosmetic: throughout the adventure, the time elapsed always matters. Kudos for being consequent!

    Conclusion:

    Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no serious guffaws on either a formal or rules-language level. Layout adheres to the “Curse of the Crimson Throne”-plugins series’ elegant 2-column full-color standard. Huge plus: We get quite a lot fantastic full-color artworks that I haven’t seen before, and the cartography is similarly impressive and full-color. As noted before, getting player-friendly maps is a big plus. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

    Tom Phillips does horror and dark fantasy really well; if you’ve been following his works, this will be no surprise to you. He is one of the authors whose adventures tend to offer meaningful challenges for the PCs, while still retaining a dense and evocative atmosphere. “Hero’s Blood” exemplifies these virtues. The adventure manages a feat that is impressive indeed: On one hand, it actually manages to carry a leitmotif that isn’t present in the otherwise fun “A History of Ashes” and thus strengthen the overall plot of Curse of the Crimson Throne – the emphasis on Korvosa affecting these lands adds to the plot.

    In addition to that, though, this adventure manages to transcend the status as an adventure path plug-in: Its plot and ideas are sufficiently distinct to carry the adventure as a stand-alone supplement – if you like horror or dark fantasy, particularly themes that feature blood/vampiric elements in a cultural context that is a breath of fresh air, then consider this to be a success and well worth getting beyond the confines of the AP.

    So yeah, regardless of within or without the associated AP, this is a success, no matter how you look at it. 5 stars + seal of approval – excellent job!

    Endzeitgeist out.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Hero's Blood
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    Magitech Archetypes
    by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/10/2018 08:26:37

    An Endzeitgeist.com review

    This installment of Legendary Games‘ science-fantasy/Iron Gods-plug-in-series clocks in at 32 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page ToC, 3 pages introduction/how to use the book, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 21 pages of content, though it should be noted that, as always for LG-books, there is quite a lot of content within these pages, courtesy of the consumer-friendly layout.

    Now, as far as supplements are concerned, this book makes, obviously, use of Technology Guide’s engine and also provides new options for occult classes, core classes and offers some ACG love.

    Today, I’d champion mention moving through the content from the back of the book, where the 7 new feats can be found. Technopath would be the first feat worth mentioning: This one is amazing and something I’d offer for solo-stealth missions as a bonus feat: The feat requires a means to use the ability to detect thoughts or mindlink and lets you expend such uses to cause erratic functions in computers etc., tightly codifying shutting down power etc. More important would be that, while it’s short range, it blends magic and tech in a cool way and has a very distinct, cool, espionage angle. This is really a more than rewarding one, which comes with a follow-up: Said follow-up feat, building on Technopath, allows you to use your mind to interface with computers in close range. This is pretty iconic and something I definitely liked to see here. Two really iconic winners here. Welker in Rust is a feat that is particularly suited for metal elementalists or urban druids, allowing for the use of a palm-sized metal object as arcane bonded object – minor complaint: For non-arcane casters, the “arcane” may seems slightly confusing here. Anyways, that’s nitpicking. The feat allows you to spontaneously convert summon spells into ones that call a distinct array of junk golems. Minor complaint: It’d have been nice to see the reference to Small sized junk golems sport more than just the HP modification. Similarly, no suggested burn cost for use in conjunction with the Necrotech (see below) material’s included. The object noted can btw. also be used in conjunction with shield guardians, if any, adding a cosmetic rust theme and a stored rusting grasp to the array.

    Now, 4 of the new feats within deal with Necrotech: The Adept feat lets you use Charisma instead of Constitution to determine Fort-saves, but to make up for this power increase, you lower Constitution by 2. The feat must be taken at first level and influences the ability to take the Necrotech master archetype. Necrotech Genius also lowers your Con, but nets you a save-buff based on the Burn you currently possess. Necrotech Leader lets you accept burn to enslave undead nearby, which is a cool angle for necro-themes kineticists. Necrotech Transformation, finally, changes your type to undead. Since the feat requires a new archetype herein, the interactions are actually clear here.

    Now, I already mentioned the necrotech master, so let’s start with this kineticist archetype, shall we? The archetype must be a construct or corporeal undead (or have the aforementioned Necrotech Adept feat) and is is locked into machine as primary element. The archetype does note that it makes use of Charisma instead of Constitution for the purpose of kineticist abilities, concentration for wild talents etc. The archetype takes a -1 penalty to Fort-saves per point of burn accepted, rather than taking lethal damage, with 3 + Cha-mod acting as the cap for the ability. This radically changes how the archetype plays, as opposed to the base class: The fragility of hit point dearth is replaced with a susceptibility for what we associate with those dabbling in necromancy – being sickly, easily subject to poisons and the like. This makes sense to me and also emphasizes these often somewhat overlooked components. Particularly for less experienced players that have an issue with the increasing fragility of the kineticist will welcome this rock-paper-scissors-y approach. The second tweak that enforces this notion, would be the unholy union ability: If the character is a construct, he gets + Cha-mod hit points per level, while undead necrotech masters gain fixed bonus hit points as though they were constructs. They are treated as both construct or undead when the like would be beneficial. They are only destroyed upon being reduced to Cha mod + class level hit points. These bonus hit points and type-based defenses replace the basic kinesis utility talents gained by selecting an elemental focus and defense. 4th level allows for the taking of machine’s elemental defense as a utility wild talent instead. Starting at 3rd level, the necrotech master may choose to gain a profane bonus to Charisma in place of a size bonus to a physical ability score, replacing elemental overflow.

    Instead of 6th level’s utility wild talent, the archetype is locked into taking the construct creator utility wild talent, and may use the ability as though it was animat dead. Constructs created thus as treated as undead for the purposes of desecrate. Also at this level, the archetype may accept 1 point of burn to select a creature created or controlled (undead + constructs only) to grant them a single machine defense or utility wild talent with a burn cost of 0 or –; The level of the ability granted must be lower than class level, and the recipient creature is treated as though its HD were kineticist levels for the purpose of effects, using Cha instead of Con as governing attribute. Targets thus buffed may not accept burn. At 11th level and 16th level, the archetype may grant additional talents for increased burn costs; only one creature at a given time may be buffed thus, though. This replaces internal buffer. 7th level locks the archetype into void as expanded element and negative blast for simple blast. Undead or constructs created gain the aforementioned unholy union ability, with 15th level locking the archetype into machine as expanded element, and into void blast composite blast as composite blast, regardless of prerequisites. 8th level locks into construct hacker, and 9th level adds a negative level to living targets hit by a kinetic blast, replacing metakinesis (maximize); 12th level nets forced reboot, allowing the archetype to revive undead, causing them to return as undead – pretty sure the first reference should refer to “constructs or undead” instead. 14th level provides the means to use the Turing computation utility wild talent, as well as the ability to use it on undead.

    Okay, so it only makes organically sense to move on to the new kineticist element while we’re at it, right? Machine nets Disable Device and Knowledge (engineering) as class skills, and basic technokinesis allows you to power machines via Burn and use mending on machines, constructs, etc. Junk blast would be the simple blast, and it sports all 3 physical damage types and is, no surprise there, a physical blast. (As an aside: Personally, I prefer damage mode changes, but that’s personal aesthetics.) As noted before, Diesel heart would be the defense wild talent, and it nets scaling DR, with accepted burn for machine talents temporarily increasing that. The talent also allows you to gain scaling percentile chances to ignore crits and sneak attack, based on burn accepted. I enjoy this one! The composite blasts provided and their options make sense and are, theme-wise, rather neat and make sense regarding damage types etc. 5 infusion wild talents are included, which feature causing Con damage via Bloodrust (damn cool name!), nanite-based sunder, soaking foes in oil, etc. – I really enjoyed these. Beyond the already noted basic utility wild talent, we get basically 30 utility wild talents to choose from; the aforementioned Turing computation awakens constructs, and similarly, the focus of quite a few of them, is on crafting and hacking constructs, on blindisght to note them (or metalsense…), on quicker repairs to keep them viable in battle (including tricks to use burn for a better action economy when doing so), on using nanites to duplicate ability score buffs on allies, a surge like auto-buff, a burn-based overclocking that hastes you and enhances your blast damage, subdermal plating…oh, and grafting weapons and upgrading grafts in 3 steps! It should be noted that the rather potent initiative buff twitch reflexes is associated with a cool elemental saturation.

    …okay, I’ll say it right now: This is one of my favorite kineticist elements EVER. It really changes up playstyles and makes kineticists that take it go places where other elements don’t. This is inspired and may well be worth the asking price on its lonesome. Huge kudos!!

    What do we have herein beyond kineticist options? Well, what about the robot fighter ranger, who replaces Knowledge (nature) + (geography) with Disable Device and Knowledge (engineering) and gets +1/2 class level to Perception and Disable Device checks to find and disarm traps, making the archetype, chassis-wise, a good rogue-substitute? Combat Style is replaced with basically a gunslinger lite array, while Endurance is swapped out with technologist. The first two favored terrains are locked and the archetype comes with a modified spell-list and must select a non-animal companion. Higher levels provide hardness ignoring and higher DCs to resist being stunned by crits, free movement through rubble and ruins and higher levels include swift action discharge or, at even higher levels, rebuke technology. Spell sacrifice for electromagnetic pulses and the ability to bypass sensors, penetrate force fields and the like further complement the archetype, culminating in an insta-construct-destruction trick. I’m generally not a big fan of nemesis-classes, but this one at least has its own array of tricks that make it play differently from the base class.

    The Penumbral arcanist replaces 1st level’s exploit with the option to reduce illumination levels; exploits provided are shadow-themed, including adding new spells or granting creatures shadow fading. The archetype gets a custom capstone….and honestly, I don’t particularly like it. There’s nothing really wrong with it, but compared to Lost Spheres Publishing’s superb Shadow Weaver, it feels bland, and it also kinda feels like an odd man out in the supplement. Not very magitech-y.

    Thankfully, the nanotech infuser sorcerer does fit: Loss of Bluff and Intimidate in favor of Disable Device and Knowledge (engineering), at-will mending and a touch that damages constructs at touch a limited amount of time, bypassing defenses. Higher levels see the nanites replace parts of the body, making the sorcerer automatically stabilize and take less damage from bleed and blood drain, but at the cost of becoming more inhuman. This transition further improves at 19th level. Cool: At 13th level, we have a nanovirus, which deals Wisdom and Con-damage, and which may make those that succumb to it rise as a nanite zombies.

    The Astrologer mesmerist replaces consummate liar with skill bonuses related to the profession and benefits from the guiding star under the night sky, Adding Charisma in addition to Wisdom modifier to the checks of Wis-based checks, as well as 1/night free metamagic-modified tricks. This is theme-wise pretty cool. Higher levels provide the option to substitute components with less than 1K costs with astrolabe/telescope use – I Like this flavor-wise. Moment of prescience, which a target may benefit 1/week from, is cool, and getting a satellite of forceful hand that can work as clenched fist is similarly cool. These abilities tend to be used, resource-wise, via mesmerist tricks, and the capstone nets interplanetary teleport. I like the flavor here, but I can’t really see why this fellow is jammed on the mesmerist chassis. It does not interact in a meaningful way with the base-chassis and feels more like an option that’d make sense for the medium or psychic class.

    The delver wizard replaces Blind-Fight with Scribe Scroll, and replaces arcane bond with favored terrain and at 3rd level and every 3 levels thereafter providing one of 9 talent-like abilities, which include tremorsense, Craft Technological Items, squeezing, etc. – the archetype basically represents the delving wizard…which is nice, but I wished the focus on tech would be slightly more pronounced. 10th level provides better divination below ground and also a nice, modified summon monster list.

    The final archetype within would be the engram channeler spiritualist. Oddly, the ability headers here, throughout the whole class option haven’t been properly bolded, representing one of the couple of minor formatting glitches through out the pdf. The archetype comes with a modified spell list. Instead of a phantom, the archetype calls forth an engram, which can’t manifest in ectroplasmic form and is a construct, rather than an outsider, sporting concise modifications of the base engine here. Cool: The engram gets an intellectual, rather than an emotional focus, and sports different special abilities – I really like this, but wished we got more intellectual focuses to choose from. This feels, somewhat, cut-down by word-count. Anyway, taking 10 on Knowledge checks (and 1/day taking 20), at-will technomancy and tech-interacting abilities complement this archetype. This may be me just being a huge fan of Bruce R. Cordell’s 3.X-book “When the Sky Falls”, but I wished this one had had more room to shine; the concept is stronger than the space that it allotted to it.

    Conclusion:

    Editing and formatting, for the most part, are VERY good on a rules-language and formal level; however, there are slightly more guffaws here than usual for Legendary Games, though these tend to be cosmetic. Layout adheres to the smooth two-column full-color standard of the iron Gods plug-ins and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. Artworks should mostly be familiar for fans of legendary Games.

    Jason Nelson, N. Jolly, Loren Sieg, Jeff Lee and Clinton J. Boomer provide an amazing book…when it actually focuses on the magitech/science-fantasy promise. It’s really odd – I even liked the nemesis-style ranger, and the tech-y options are inspired; Particularly if you’re enjoying the kineticist, this is a no-brainer book. The machine element is pure amazing. At the same time, there are three archetypes herein that have, at best, a somewhat tangential connection to magitech – the general themes of science-fantasy are kind of there, but feel a bit more like an afterthought; don’t get me wrong – they are cool, but ultimately, this means that the book is pretty strongly geared towards occult, in particular, kineticist, content. Now, I am very much happy with that, but if you expected a broader focus, you may end up slightly disappointed. Still, what does click, does so with the panache and experience we expect from Legendary Games! Kineticist fans in particular should consider this to be an absolute must-own tome – that part of the book is absolute genius and 5 star + seal material; as noted, ranking among my favorite kineticist options ever.

    However, I have to rate the entirety of the book, and while never bland or mediocre, a few of the options fell slightly short of the promise of the rest. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded down.

    Endzeitgeist out.



    Rating:
    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    Magitech Archetypes
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    Faerie Mysteries (5E)
    by Monica G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/08/2018 10:37:03

    Faerie Mysteries is part of Legendary Games' Adventure Path Plug-Ins series, which offer a set of nice options for dungeon masters to add to their game as they see fit. Looking for a magical feature to give a dungeon some flavor? An encounter to soften up a party before a big fight? Did half of your players cancel and you need a quick side quest? This book can solve all of those problems for you. As expected, Faerie Mysteries focuses on encounters with fae. The book includes a few monsters toward the end of the fae type or of other types that are thematically related to fae, but more importantly, it includes encounters that are not necessarily just monster battles. Much of the book focuses on locations of close proximity between the material plane and the fae realm--where faerie magic spills into the material world. There are various types of encounters called fey influences--which include several encounter levels called rumors, ripples, and ruptures. These are all low to mid-level encounters that aren't terribly dangerous, but do add something interesting to an adventure. Rumors include things like areas with active illusion spells triggered by players that are little more than distractions that they will want to investigate, but turn out to be harmless. Ripples are more severe releases of fae energy that often threaten the players with some sort of minor magical penalty for a short time. Ruptures often present a threat to the players, and might harm them with physical damage or a magical curse. As well, there is a list of more traditional encounters that can be added into nearly any adventure. Whether walking through a forest, crossing a river, or even in town, there are ways to seamlessly get your party involved in an extra encounter. The only downside is that most adventures top out around level 8. Then again, there are many encounters of variable level that can serve as adevnture hooks that can easily lead to far more powerful encounters with a little prep. Some of the included hooks even could spark an entire fae-themed story arc if you're just looking for a place to get ideas. Though it doesn't offer anything for players, this is a great book for dungeon masters. It's perfect for those who find that they need to improvise and add an unexpected encounter on occasion. It's a great book to have around for when you're in a pinch and need to keep your players occupied.

    Read the full review at GeeksAGogo.com



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Faerie Mysteries (5E)
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    Legendary Kineticists II
    by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/28/2018 03:57:19

    An Endzeitgeist.com review

    The second of Legendary Games‘ expansion books for the kineticist clocks in at 40 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 2 pages of introductions, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 32 pages of crunch, so let’s take a look!

    We begin this supplement with a selection of new kineticist archetypes, starting with the bestial kineticist. Here’s the thing. It’s not for your CHARACTER. It’s for your animal companion! A bestial kineticist may select any feat that requires kineticist levels, using HD as kineticist levels, as companion feats. Additionally, if the companion and master know the same kinetic blast of the same element and have Interweave Composite blast both, they may use that feat to interweave a composite blast that requires the element as primary and expanded elements in addition to the normal effects. Kudos: Takes wood properly into account, even if you play prior to Arcane Anthology’s addition of a wood/wood composite blast. Instead of a trick, a bestial kineticist can choose to gain an infusion or utility wild talent, but the critter may never have more than 2 more infusions than utility wild blasts, or vice versa. Cool: wild talents learned this way are correctly codified via Handle Animal, and if the master knows the same wild talent, the DC is reduced. As far as ability score bonuses are concerned, the companion chooses either Strength or Dexterity and gets +1 per druid levels the master possesses, minimum 0 – this bonus also applies to Constitution.

    Instead of evasion and improved evasion, the bestial kineticist gains all kineticist class features except elemental defense, expanded element, metakinesis and omnikinesis. No utility wild talents or infusions are gained beyond those taken as tricks. Nice catch: The critter may fire kinetic blasts with any appendage with which they could execute a natural attack. The companion is treated as a native outsider in addition to its creature type to determine what spells can affect it, which can be a bit wonky – what if an effect affects outsiders and the creature type differently? Interesting: While elemental overflow is active, the bestial kineticist takes on an elemental subtype defined by the simple blast, with a nice list provided. The kineticist does Not attain subtype-based vulnerabilities, and if the creature has 5+ Burn, it is also treated as the elemental subtype. Instead of multiattack, we get a cool teamwork charge: Standard action, fire simple blast at master; after that, the master may fire the blast, treating its damage as from a kineticist with the bestial kineticist’s HD +2. The blast must be used by the end of the round, and it may include infusions that the bestial kineticist has. At 16th level, composite blasts may be used thus. The ability has a range of 60 ft. and still makes the bestial kineticist take burn. 12th level’s bonus trick is replaced with expanded element, and if the bestial kineticist takes the primary element, we get +1 to atk, damage DC and caster level checks for that element’s wild talents, as well as gaining a bonus infusion or wild talent. I really loved this one!

    The second archetype would be the metakinetic savant, who may, at 5th level and every 4 levels thereafter, choose a metamagic feat instead of one of the metakinesis progressions, which they may then apply to any kinetic blast, with burn cost increasing as per the increased spell level of the respective metamagic feat. Cool: Schools and subschools of blasts are properly codified, and unlisted blasts are up to the GM’s control, with some guidance provided. Also nice: A whole series of potentially problematic metamagic feats are noted. A metakinetic savant may take Expanded Metakinesis as soon as 1st level, and starting at 5th level, the metakinetic savant may select any metamagic feat for Expanded Metakinesis, provided it increases the spell level by 1 or less, and the interaction of abilities if retained in a tight manner. The internal buffer of the archetype is doubled in size and multiple points may be spent per round on the same wild talent, but the points may only be spent to avoid accepting burn from metakinesis or metamagic feats added to blasts. Instead of metakinetic master, 16th level metakinesis and metamagic feat burn cost is reduced by 1, with the effect not stacking when multiple such modifications are added to a single blast. The archetype may btw. be taken in conjunction with other archetypes that modify metakinesis, but may not replace metakinesis which other archetypes alter or replace. A really interesting engine tweak!

    The nihilicist must be one step within neutral alignment and may not be forced to gain an element, kinetic blast or wild talent. If the archetype ever willingly gains a primary element or any non-universal wild talent, except those aligned with the ones granted by the archetype, they lose this archetype. A nihilicist gains no element, but rather nothingness. Empty blast is a simple blast, which may be a physical or energy blast. It is kinda untyped, damage-wise, but actually not and drains away a part of the target’s existence. 7th level provides the Zero blast composite blast, at the cost of 2 burn. Universal infusions may be applied to these, as well as e.g. chain, cyclone, etc. Nice: Damage output here is balanced and modified individually to account for the damage type, a decision that bespeaks the knowledge of the authors regarding the deep levels of kineticist design. The archetype starts with empty infusion and 7th and 15th level nets a bonus feat, infusion or utility wild talent. This ability replaces the basic utility wild talent, elemental focus and expanded element and alters utility wild talents. Now, I noted that special damage – this would be nihil damage. This is nonlethal damage for purposes of being cured, but transcends immunity to them. Nihil damage ignores hardness and staggers targets that have their HP exceeded by it, even if they would be immune. Additionally, a nihilicist can select up to one creature per 60 ft. away, plus 1 per 3 class levels, converting all nihil damage to lethal damage as a standard action, which may also be done in conjunction with gathering power as a full-round action by decreasing the burn reduction it provides by 1. Cool: An amount of damage from the conversion may also be changed into conditions, with a scaling save to avoid. This replaces the infusions gained at 1st, 9th and 17th level and offers a unique playstyle…and seriously, in spite of usually HATING new damage types thrown in, this one is so rooted in existing ones and works so smoothly (and so intricately entwined with detailed features) that I really liked it.

    Instead of elemental defense, the nihilicist can convert Constitution modifier lethal damage into nonlethal damage 1/day as a full-round action, +1/day at 5th level and every 3 levels thereafter. Whenever they accept burn to use a wild talent, they gain DR equal to class level + Constitution modifier versus nonlethal damage for 1 round; it does not prevent burn, nor does it affect nonlethal damage converted to lethal. Also at 2nd level, we get constant negate aroma, less food and sleep required and 6th level, this also includes nondetection and at 12th level, mind blank. Additionally, folks will forget the nihilicist, though the character can prevent this permanently via accepting burn and a touch attack – though even willing targets have to save! This one costs 3 utility wild talents, gained at 2nd, 6th and 12th levels. Instead of the 3rd level infusion, the archetype may increase the burn cost of a nihil damage-causing kinetic blast by 1 to immediately apply the effects of the lethal/condition conversion effect, but only pertaining the blast’s damage, not any previously sustained nihil damage. The conversion ratio begins at ½ here and upgrades to full and may later also convert previously sustained nihil damage, but at the cost of additional burn. The capstone reduces the damage-conversion cost for conditions and the capstone also allows them to go out with a…non-bang. The character can center a sphere of annihilation on themselves. This is…beautiful. The ultimate self-sacrifice, an sans suffering left behind, but also with one’s mark completely obliterated. This is a truly tragic and super potent way to go that fits perfectly with the archetype.

    The onslaught blaster is amazing for epic battle scenes: Whenever the character uses the kinetic blast, he may fire multiple blasts, equal to 1d6 + 1 damage for physical energy and 1d6 for energy damage, with an additional blast for every 2 kineticist levels past 1st. Each individual hit takes damage equal to the onslaught blaster’s Constitution modifier for physical blasts, half as much for energy blasts. Attacked targets are decided prior to rolling an attack roll and substance or form infusions applied apply to all blasts. Versus a single target, the attacks are pooled into a stronger blast, which is treated as a single attack and effects apply only once to the blast, so no cheesing there. For every 2 blasts beyond the first that target the same creature, damage increases by +3 for physical, +1 for energy blasts. However, an onslaught blaster may not have any form infusion that reduces the range, emulates a melee attack or many throw infusion applied. Telekinetic blast can only throw a single object. This…is beautiful. I’m beaming right here. Once more, this showcases system mastery to a truly impressive degree. Instead of gather power, supercharge and metakinesis, the character can use the onslaught blast as a full-round action at -1 burn, with 11th and 19th level providing further options to reduce burn, tied to action economy.

    At 3rd level, when using the aforementioned ability while having 1 burn, they may execute an additional blast, with 9th and 15th level providing +1 blast at 3 and 5 burn, respectively. Elemental overflow does not provide a bonus to damage for the archetype, though. Metakinesis (empower) is replaced with the option to accept burn to execute additional blasts, with 7th level and every 4 levels thereafter adding to that. Additionally, the ability nets a slight damage-increase, which also extends to the other abilities that replace the metakinesis ability tree. At 9th level, we add temporary debuffs to creatures pummeled, and 13th and 17th level allow for artillery style additional blasts for increasing burn costs. This fellow is pretty brutal, but also rather epic – it’s actually a really good mook-mower, and the archetype has a rather easy means to scale for lower-powered games, with the bonus damage granted by the metakinesis-replacements making for an easy choice to slightly decrease the damage output, should you so choose.

    The final kineticist archetype herein would be the telekinetic bladeshifter, who gain proficiency with all simple melee and one-handed martial weapons, as well as all thrown simple and martial weapons as well as light and medium armor, and shields, excluding tower shields. They are locked into aether as primary element and telekinetic blast as the kinetic blast, but retains archetype compatibility regarding these features. The archetype has a full ABB-progression, but only 1/3rd class level Reflex-save progression. At 1st level, the archetype chooses a light or one-handed melee or thrown weapon that is neither unarmed, natural or projectile-based and when using telekinetic blast, rather than normal, it transforms the object used into the chosen weapon and may be used as a free action once per turn, treating the bladeshifter as if wielding the weapon, dealing damage as a warpriest’s sacred weapon. The weapon thus wielded may be enhanced as a kinetic blast and substance infusions as well as metakinesis applied to telekinetic blasts work as if used with the kinetic whip infusion. 5th level and every 4 levels thereafter, the bladeshifter gets an additional weapon that may be chosen as such, with 9th level unlocking advanced weapon/armor training options, substituting elemental overflow attack roll bonus for the weapon training bonus. Non-telekinetic blast kinetic blasts deal damage as a ½ class level sacred weapon and 1/3 spell level, if relevant. Elemental overflow does not provide a bonus to attack roll (would have been overkill here) and the damage-bonus it provides is equal to the burn the character currently has. The archetype is locked out of form infusions. The archetype may choose combat feats instead of utility wild talents, using their class level as fighter levels to qualify. At 5th level, they can choose substance infusions instead of wild talents, but at 4 class levels lower. This reduction also applies to infusions chosen as part of the expanded element.

    At 2nd level, elemental defenses is replaced with forcewoven shield, which allows the character to accept burn in order to increase the enhancement bonus of a shield used by +1, not interfering with gather power. There is an issue here: The bonus scales up to +10, and can generate shields with basically a +15 bonus, which surpasses the cap assumed by PFRPG for enhancement bonuses. It probably won’t break the game, but since high-level math is already finicky for the GM to get right, that amount beyond the usual…well. Not a fan. This effect may also be used in conjunction with other abilities that grant a shield bonus, btw. Not as happy with this one. 3rd level nets the option to make telekinetic blast weapons out of force and target touch AC, which is, for a full BAB-class, an all but guaranteed hit. Sure, at the cost of halved damage and being subject to SR…but still. For 2 burn, the blast can inflict full damage while in force mode. Additionally, for a swift action, telekinetic blast weapons can be enhanced (up to +5) or add a variety of different special weapon properties. For the weapon mods, the archetype loses the 3rd, 11th and 19th level infusions. 9th and 17th level provide a specialization based on armor, shield, or weapon type preferred, allowing you, for example, to make two-handed melee weapons for the telekinetic blade ability, etc., but at the cost of composite and infusion specialization at 5th, 11th and 17th level as well as metakinesis (twice/maximize). The capstone is bland, with auto-confirmed crits and critical multiplier increase by +1 (x4’s bad enough, imho) as well as DR when having the shield active. This archetype is the one of the kineticist archetypes herein that feels a bit rough – it’s not bad, mind you, but it feels like it tries to do a whole lot, and could do so much more with its concepts, but instead had to settle for a cut-down version that used numerical bonuses instead of diverse abilities. This left me with the impression that it should have received a hybrid class treatment akin to the cool kinetic shinobi.

    There are also 3 non-kineticist archetypes/class options in the book: The Planetouched oracle loses mystery and revelation in favor of spliced in kineticist options; the planar custodian druid takes a similar role, but take a more interesting stance as far as I’m concerned, in that they require the companion to take the bestial kineticist archetype, with domains being pretty detailed in their guidance as well. Domains can also tie in with the elemental focus from the kineticist class, which replaces wild empathy and creates an interesting alternate choice here. It should be noted that even exotic choices like plant companions are addressed. Thus, the modification of nature’s bond is already a pretty big change on how this plays. It is also interesting to note that the level-based mechanics of the companion-archetype tie in rather well here, with burn instead applying to the kineticist level, providing an engine that feels different. Infusions gained are balanced versus wild shape improvements and the primary element’s defense wild talent is similarly powered by wild shape starting at 6th level, with the woodland stride and venom immunity features paying for it. We can, obviously, also find elemental body/plant shape (for wood specialists) here, though annoyingly the spell-references are not italicized properly. (They are hyperlinked, though!). The capstone makes burn costs of infusions be treated as less and adds wild shape uses. Really nice hybrid-style archetype. Play differently from both parents, like it!

    Finally, there would be the order of the scion, which would be a cavalier order devoted to keep the world in balance. Interesting: Depending on element chosen, the challenge will bestow bonuses for allies associated with the respective element, making that aspect team-focused. The order thus has a pretty extensive, if not exhaustive list of abilities associated with the element chosen. The 2nd level nets a no-burn at-will simple kinetic blast modified with kinetic whip, but only as a 1st level kineticist, which is upgraded at 7th level, where a challenge use may be expended to increase the damage versus a challenge target. The blast, however, is treated as a lance for how it interacts with charges. Yeah, that’s a damn good reason for the base damage-scaling’s subdued nature here! 15th level nets a composite blast and 8th level provides the defense wild talent, with 15th level unlocking elemental overflow, and in the absence of burn, the order once more has an interesting cooldown here.

    The pdf contains 6 general infusions: Lingering Darkness adds masochistic shadow to one target of the negative energy-based blast. Ricochet does what it says on the tin for 2 burn, with only a 15 ft. bounce of range, bludgeoning damage and no further ricochet possible beyond the first. Works for me. Dehydrating blast, at 2 burn, reduces damage die size by one step and does not travel to the target; SR applies and the target may end up fatigued until it had something to drink. Nice: Blood kineticists may use it with blood blast. Dehydrating blast also has a greater level 6 upgrade for 4 burn, which makes the extracted water as a globe of water the origin for a follow-up water blast, which is all kinds of cool and allows for neat point-of-origin tricks. Countering and spellturning infusion are great ideas, but RAW do not work as intended. They can be used to counter activated extraordinary or supernatural attacks as well, but fail to specify a metric by which you could determine the success of the like, which is a real bummer, for the idea here is pretty cool!

    Unless I’ve miscounted, 13 wild talents are next and included here are basic cryokinesis and electrokinesis, improved celerity is back from LK I, afflicting targets with dyslexia…and BECOMING A KINETIC LICH. _ YES! Happy. (There is also one for kinetic undead PCs, fyi, if you for example wanted to play an undead wight/vampire via Rite Publishing’s In the Company-series, for example.) What about having energy linger around targets reduced to 0 hp, making for nasty surprises for the healers? Or the one that links hit targets together, drawing them magnetically to one another? Yeah, I really liked this section. It’s complex, creative and has some true gems. We can also finmd 11 feats here, some of which have some interesting synergy: Kinetic Railgun makes onslaught blaster capable of benefiting from haste with their onslaught blast and adding metakinesis to animal companions, dark elementalist support…and then there is Autobuffer, which is usually the type of feat IM not too keen on. When accepting burn on a wild talent, you have a 20% to regain a point of burn in the internal buffer at the beginning of next turn. Each time you fail it, the chance increases by +20%, and upon success, it resets to 20%. However, the feat has no effect when already having maximum points in the internal buffer…and it’s interesting in that it’s slightly unreliable nature makes it exciting at the table. So yeah. Well done.

    Speaking of “well done” – there are 5 spells within (covering, class-wise, all the classes, including ACG and OA): Here we have turning nonlethal to lethal damage temporarily, delaying burn…and two real gems. One that forces the target to accept burn (ouch) and the second one is actually a permanent spell that stipulates a prohibition, a violation of which causes the target to accept burn. I can see whole evil empires or “benevolent” The-state/church/etc.-knows-what’s-best types use this one to chilling efficiency. Inspiring!

    The pdf also includes a 10-level PrC that nets d8 HD, ¾ BAB-progression, ½ Fort- and Will-save progression as well as 3/5th spellcasting progression. The PrC requires 5 ranks in Spellcraft and Knowledge (nature) or (planes), ability to cast 2nd level arcane or psychic spells and needs the kinetic blast class feature as well as an additional one like spellstrike and its variants, arcanist exploits, fetish, harrowing, etc. The PrC nets 4 + Int skills per level and nets proficiency with simple weapons, light armors and bucklers. If you haven’t noticed via the prerequisites – this is pretty much a classic, hybrid-y kineticist/caster multiclass and as such, kineticist-advancement takes place whenever the class does not gain spellcasting progression. The PrC is, design-wise, once more an impressive achievement, as it manages to codify blasts as something that may be delivered via e.g. spellstrikes while retaining balancing factors that prevent this aspect from being cheesed to smithereens. The PrC also has a rather interesting series of three conductive substance infusions that allow you to lace kinetic blasts into touch spells, with composite blasts unlocked via the Greater version and there is progression of previous class features hard-coded into the PrC as well. I was also rather positively surprised by the extended holding charge mechanic, which does not automatically delivers a held spell when touching someone, providing additional control via a rather rarely employed angle. Burn to power spellcasting and the ability to prepare kinetic blasts in spell slots makes for an interesting capstone as well. While we’re on the subject of multiclassing/hybrid-concepts: The pdf does contain proper variant multiclassing rules that provide some meaningful, if less potent, options. I liked how these turned out.

    Now, obviously, there would be the big thing still missing – here, that would be the Legendary Kineticist variant class. (I’ll abbreviated the fellow as “LK” from here on out.) The LK gets d8 HD, 4 + Int-mod skills, proficiency with simple weapons as well as light and medium armors, ¾ BAB-progression and good Fort- and Ref-saves. 1st level nets elemental focus alongside the basic utility talent as a bonus wild talent. 2nd level and every 2 levels thereafter nets a new utility wild talent, and at 6th level and every 4 levels thereafter, one may be replaced, but not if it’s been used to qualify for another wild talent. Wild talents auto-scale in DC, with save DC governed by 10 + ½ class levels and Constitution modifier. 1st level also nets kinetic blast, obviously, and gather power only requires ONE free hand now, which can be pretty potent as a minor tweak, but which also makes sense to me. 1st level nets an infusion, with another one granted at 3rd level and every 2 levels thereafter, with 4th level and every 4 levels after that allowing for retraining of one. This represents an upgrade in flexibility, obviously. Form infusions still use Dexterity to calculate the save DCs, thankfully. They may NOT replace an infusion with a wild talent. 2nd level nets elemental defense and 3rd level provides elemental overflow. Infusion specialization is retained as well. Metakinesis (ability name not bolded properly) is modified: 9th level is actually better balanced here: For the burn cost, the LK can force a target to reroll the save as if using Persistent Spell.

    Expanded element is, as a base-line, more powerful now: It is gained at 6th level (again at 14th) and retains its benefits; however, the second element is no longer treated as -4 kineticist levels for the purpose of qualifying for wild talents. HOWEVER, and that is one of the balancing components here, expanded element no longer can grant you wild talents when expanding a previous element. To offset that, internal buffer is moved up to 7th level. This one works differently: It now starts at 1 and replenishes each day, but may not be simply charged back up. Points spent from it don’t activate elemental overflow and do not add to its effects, and the buffer may explicitly be used to exceed a single turn’s burn, but may not be used with battle burn. Buffer-size increases to 2 points at 11th and 3 at 16th level.

    Wait, battle burn? Well, yeah, that’s one of the big differences here. Gained as soon as 4th level, battle burn means that the kineticist can accept 1 point of battle burn that has no physical effect. This may be taken when using an infusion or utility wild talent, but the respective ability must have a non-instantaneous duration measured in rounds or minutes. Wild talent duration is reduced to 5 minutes when powered by battle burn, or their normal duration, whichever is less. LKs can accept battle burn alongside normal burn (thus exceeding the limits) and 11th and 18th level increase the battle burn by +1, though the LK can only accept one per round. Here’s the catch: A 5 minute rest replenishes all battle burn. Yeah…I enjoy the idea, but I think that, in conjunction with the tweaks to the Burn-engine and slight power-upgrades here and there, this goes slightly too far.

    Supercharge may now also be used as a swift action to reduce burn cost by 1 in addition to its classic effects. Composite blast remains at 16th level, metakinetic master remains at 19th level, and the capstone accounts for the changes wrought by battle burn. Extra Wild Talent has been rewritten for use in conjunction with this class.

    Okay. I postponed this long enough. Let’s talk Burn. The LK’s burn cap is 3 + Constitution modifier, and the class can accept 1 point of burn per round, +1 at 6th level and for every 3 levels thereafter. Now, for one, battle burn, as noted, does not come into play here; neither does the internal buffer require this long to “recharge”, so we have as a whole some improved flexibility. But what’s the effect of burn? Well, it’s a -1 penalty to all Strength and Dexterity-based ability and skill checks, except initiative. That’s it. No save-penalty. No AC-penalty. Now, granted, this supersedes immunity to taking penalties to these, but the design ramifications are vast. I’ll get to those below.

    The pdf, as has become the tradition with these files, concludes with a fully realized character, Trueno, the herald of the white sky, a middle-aged half-elven onslaught blaster legendary kineticist 8 with a nice backgroundstory and boon.

    Conclusion:

    Editing and formatting are very good on a formal level – while I noticed some minor deviations here and there, the pdf as a whole is pretty crisp and clean in that regard. Rules-language is impressive. The pdf juggles top-tier complexity concepts and displays an in-depth knowledge of rules-intricacies and balancing tweaks that few books showcase. While a few minor snafus have crept into the book, they are few and far in-between, and I’ll rather have highly complex and fun options with minor blemishes than perfect, low-difficulty blandness. Layout adheres to legendary Games’ 2-column full-color standard for the series and the pdf features a blend of classic and new artwork from LG’s catalogue. It should be noted that the layout crams a ton of information on each page, making this a very dense book. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

    N. Jolly and Onyx Tanuki, with contributing editors Blue Maculagh, Jacob McCoy, Timothy Mclaughlin and Blake Morton, have delivered what I did not expect here.

    To get that out of the way: As a person, I LOATHE, with a fiery passion, the legendary kineticist’s burn mechanic. To me, the decreased combat capability and increasing vulnerability of kineticists due to burn is what makes them unique, fun and exciting to play. It’s literally what made me like the class. The LK gets rid of that in favor of a penalty that even a moderately capable group can play around without too much hassle. The LK retains combat power without a meaningful compromise in its defenses, which is pretty much what made it interesting for me. (Unless you get grappled and need to pass through threatened squares/climb/etc. in combat – then, you’ll suffer…if you didn’t plan ahead via magic items etc.) In short, the LK’s burn is more of a minor inconvenience than a question of survival/betting/etc. I hate the loss of flexibility regarding movement on the battlefield in favor of raw power here.

    That being said, this is NOT a bug. It’s a feature. It’s what a lot of folks wanted. You see, the regular kineticist is a class that can be pretty challenging to play, simply because it can become so damn fragile. What excites me may be frustrating for others. And so, while I, as a person, despise it, am cognizant as a reviewer, that it will be just what the doctor ordered for many, many folks out there. It requires less system mastery, less teamwork and cautious playing, particularly in combination with battle burn. For me personally, this combo catapults the class to the point where I wouldn’t allow it in my games. HOWEVER, at the same time, there is a ton to love about the LK. I love pretty much all other tweaks t the chassis of the class. I really do, and, as a whole, I consider the chassis to be smoother and more elegant, with internal buffer as one example that many a group should scavenge. So yes, in spite of knowing about the burn beforehand and knowing I’d hate it, there is still a lot to love about this class...and if you want my advice and feel the same, you can put a hard, scaling daily cap on battle burn and use the old burn with this chassis sans breaking the game…so that’s probably what I’ll do.

    Now, what I did not expect, was to like the archetypes and other supplemental material to this extent: With the notable exception of the telekinetic blademaster and its slightly weird design decisions, I found myself grinning rather broadly while reading this. The druid-companion double team, the unique tweaks to kineticist tricks, the inspired nihilicist…there is a ton to love here, and indeed, I consider this to be one of the best kineticist expansions out there. There is a lot of creative, high-concept and high-difficulty material in this book. It is creative and manages to convey a surprising amount of flavor in its dense crunch. Indeed, in contrast to my expectations, in spite of the couple of hiccups regarding the counter/spellturn options, in spite of knowing that I wouldn’t like the cornerstone of the damn main selling point of the book, I still found myself enjoying this book. The spells, the little options here and there…there is so much passion evident here, even after so many kineticist books. This is, in short, a book I’d consider to be a must-have for kineticist-fans. If you gravitate towards grittier playstyles, you should treat the LK with care and consider nerfing it, but even then, this will have so many cool concepts within its pages that it remains worth the asking price even if divorced from the alternate class. As such, my final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars due to the minor hiccups and balance-concerns, but I absolutely HAVE to round up for this book. It made me smile with its ambition and skill, and as such, I’ll also slap my seal of approval on this. In case you were wondering: This, for me as a person, shares the throne of best kineticist supplement with Kineticists of Prophyra III.

    Endzeitgeist out.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Legendary Kineticists II
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