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Files for Everybody: Nashi
by Reece S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/17/2019 19:28:23

This product heavily features the Nashi ancestry, essentially raccoon-folk. In addition there are character options for the alchemist as well as a good amount of supplementary info on firearms (and the equipment therein).

The Nashi Ancestry options are quite varied and are packed with flavor text, particularly in the beginning where things like culture and architecture are discussed. The ancestry includes 10 heritages, a veritable boatload for players to choose from. This also includes a suite of ancestry feats that tie the aforementioned flavor text quite well with mechanical bonuses.

The Alchemist options primarily revolve around the use of firearms, especially alchemical cartridges similar to what you may remember from pathfinder 1st edition. The options within are very thematic and relate well (again) to the Nashi themed supplement.

The sorcerer and wizard also feature briefly, with a Tanuki sorcerer bloodline themed for trickery and illusions (of sorts) and a wizard school that expands on the wizard's ability to get extra arcana/crafting skill feats as well as crafting proficiencies. I'm particularly partial to the wizard school, as its a pretty big departure from the other wizard options in core 2nd edition.

There is also a single dedication archetype included, the tinkerer, which again utilizes earlier themes to good effect. Basically does exactly what it sounds like.

Finally come the firearm rules, which are more oriented toward a steampunk style campaign setting, and are pretty varied because of it. While the setting may be rather specific, I think anyone running a game where firearms are more common could definitely use these rules.

The alchemical cartridges are quite well written and may actually be my favorite part of the supplement. Including Bolas, dragon's breath, and more, this part shines and could be used for any game running firearms, even if you're using some that are more oriented toward earlier-age firearms.

All in all the book is great, the options are wide and interesting, and the art is great! (I forgot to mention this earlier!) Would definitely recommend picking this up if you have interest in using steampunk/magicpunk style firearms in your game!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Files for Everybody: Nashi
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Files for Everybody: Acrobatics Feats
by Amanda P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/16/2019 01:01:31

A wonderful expansion of the Acrobatics skill! The 'Surfer' background is well-thought-out as well as well-written.
I particularly liked the Quick Grab & Pin the Blade feats. If they were available in PFS, Quick Grab would be on my list of 'things to get ASAP'. The Surf feat is saved from being overpowered by the requirements to use it and the potential consequences of failure. Very well balanced!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Files for Everybody: Acrobatics Feats
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Files for Everybody: Nashi
by Jeffrey F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/10/2019 14:34:48

This Pathfinder 2nd edition compatible supplement is focused on the Nashi, a raccoon humanoid ancestry that has a focus on firearms. The author includes a sidebar on transferring their firearm focus to crossbows for the GM who doesn't want gunpowder weapons in their game.

Overall this supplement is well written and the art is excellent. The author does an excellent job of crafting Nashi culture and making pop so that by the time I was done reading the section I had many ideas about adding them to my own game worlds.

The 10 heritages are interesting and unique, and the Ancestry feats seem well balanced. Their is a good variety of ancestry feats as well which means playing Nashi won't get as repetitive as some of the Pathfinder 2nd core ancestries currently are. The class options for Alchemist, Sorcerer and Wizard all seem solid and good thematic choices.

The Equipment chapters covers new rules for firearms. The rules are interesting though the sniper trait is one that makes me scratch my head. The rule itself is simple and would represent something akin to a cinematic weapon silencer but seems out of place on one of the biggest weapons, and as such probable loudest weapons. Of course the intent seems to make that weapon a fantasy sniper rifle which these rules would achieve even if I'll need to suspend my personal disbelief.

Overall it is an excellent ancestry to add to the game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Files for Everybody: Nashi
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Starfarer Adversaries: Void Banshee
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/05/2019 12:59:39

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Starfarer Adversaries-series clocks in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page SRD, 1 page editorial, leaving us with 3 pages of content, one page of which is devoted to a one-page version of the creature-artwork, suitable to act as a handout.

All right, in space nobody hears you scream? Well, kind of. But some undead, namely the void banshee, send distress signals through the bleak infinity, compelled to investigate. The pdf presents three different iterations of the void banshee – one at CR 3, one at CR 7 and one at CR 12. Void banshees are incorporeal undead. They have perfect maneuverability and should specify, that their fly-speed is supernatural, which they, as presented, do not. The builds use the expert array, and the grafts have been properly applied. Bluff, Intimidate and Stealth are the master skills, with Acrobatics and Sense Motive.

The void banshee’s damage is contingent on the values of her spells, which brings me to an important note: This absolutely REQUIRES Starfarer’s Companion to be used. The main improvements of the banshees are SPs, and these almost exclusively draw from said book. At this point, it should come as no surprise that I’m not happy with that, as the level 9 spellcasting interacts weirdly with the SPs: Wail of the banshee, for example, has a massive DC 26 for a CR 12 critter, which is 5 higher than the ability DC, and 3 higher than a monster usually can have at the CR. Since Starfinder usually has a 6-level spellcasting system. Not a fan.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are good on a formal and rules-language level; not perfect, but it can be used sans major snafus. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the artwork is nice. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

I am not a big fan of Jacob Blackmon’s void banshees, primarily due to their reliance on Starfarer’s Companion and the ensuing oddness. I also couldn’t help but feel that they could have used a couple more unique things…perhaps something locking ships down so they don’t escape? The concept is cool, but the execution could be more exciting. It’s not bad, but neither is it particularly mind-blowing. My final verdict will clock in at 3 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Starfarer Adversaries: Void Banshee
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Everyman Minis: EveryPath Klickstarter Bundle
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/01/2019 06:09:07

This endzeitgeist.com review covers all the constituent files of this bundle. As a whole, this has a great bang-for-buck-ration, brims with creative ideas, and gets a 5-star + seal of approval rating. Below are the detailed reviews of the constituent files, in the sequence I originally released them.

Everyman Minis: More Unchained Bard Masterpieces (revised edition)

The second Everyman Mini that features new masterpieces for the potent Unchained Bard clocks in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page introduction (not featuring the glyph-key this time around, but that’s a minor comfort detriment. Still, there’d be enough space… - but hey, the masterpiece write-ups feature the pretty self-explanatory glyphs), 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 2 pages of content, so let’s take a look! In case you were wondering, btw.: This Everyman Mini is exclusively available as part of the Klickstarter-bundle.

We start off with two new 1st level masterpieces, the first of which would be the Dance of Infinite Steps for the muse, you guessed it, dance. This one nets you the performance bonus as a dodge bonus to AC and as a penalty to atk rolls, as well as 50% spell failure chance with verbal spells; accompaniment makes this significantly better, allowing for the double bonus, no penalty, and no spell failure chance. The second masterpiece would be the Thunderous March, which is associated with the muses dance, percussion, sing and wind instruments. This one nets all allies an additional +1/2 bard level sonic damage with weapon attacks, and if you trigger the use yourself, it’s instead +1d6 sonic damage, + 1d6 sonic damage for every 3 bard levels. Very cool: The masterpiece now blends the accompaniment class feature with the number of times it can be triggered per round. Huge kudos for this change!

At 3rd level, we have 2 masterpieces as well; the Anthem of Illumination, which is a 40-ft.-radius emanation and may be used with any muse. This one generates light, and may suppress darkness-effects, with accompaniment etc. allowing the masterpiece to dispel darkness and even count as sunlight. Distracting Drone has a range of 60 ft. and is available for any muse, providing a debuff and a chance to fail spells and SPs. Nice!

The book features 3 7th-level masterpieces, the first of which is Clamor of Spirits, available for any muse. This one generates a cylinder, somewhat flame strike-y, which causes damage based on muse Perform ranks, which is clever. The damage type selection is also pretty nice, including the 4 base energy types, the 3 physical damage types and sonic, and sourcing the second half of the damage directly from a divine power. I like the options to unleash more columns and have the energy “stick” to targets.

Requiem for the Sovereign is a masterpiece for the muses oratory and sing. This one grants an ally within 60 feet a move action that must be used for moving, stowing an item or retrieving it; with accompaniment, you can instead grant a move or swift action that may be used however you want. For three activations, we add standard action to that. While this is still VERY potent, it is more limited than before and up to the level where I consider it to be something that does not necessarily break the game due to the investment required.

Symphony of Elven Ascension is associated with the percussion and wind muses. It lets you choose from a list of conditions and descriptors and grant rerolls. As far as 11th level masterpieces are concerned, we have two: The Requiem for the Banshee thankfully is not insta-kill or the like – it bestows negative levels, which can be made permanent via accompaniment. Reviving Reveille is for all muses and heals allies, with the option to breath of life them. The 15th level masterpiece, Inspired Action, is for the muses oratory and sing. It lets you choose an ally within 60 ft. This ally gets a standard, a move, or a swift action as an immediate action. This is super strong, but now has a caveat that makes the ally exhausted and staggered for a round, then fatigued afterwards, and the ally can’t be affected more than once per 24 hours. This still lets you snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, but it’s no longer broken.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting on a formal and rules-language level have been perfectly fixed WITHIN A DAY. This is how it’s done!! Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the pdf has a nice artwork. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none.

See, and this is why I cherish Alexander Augunas’ Everybody Games so much – the first iteration David N. Ross’ unchained bard masterpieces was a very flawed little pdf. And BAM, with a few skilled touches, we suddenly have a glorious expansion worthy of the unchained bard! This is customer-friendly, it shows a genuine desire to make things right and do the honorable thing. The revised edition gets the full 5 stars, for quite a few of these revised masterpieces allow for awesome gambits sans breaking the game. Highly recommended!!

Endzeitgeist out.

Everyman Minis: Occult Panoplies

This Mini is only available as part of the Klickstarter-bundle and clocks in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

So, what are panoplies? They are a set of occult objects that increase in potency when combined. An occultist can select a panoply when choosing a new implement school, but in order to do so, they must have selected the implement school for all implements involved at least once. As with any other implement school, learning a panoply’s implement school nets access to the resonant power and base focus power, and the other focus powers may be learned. One spell per spell level is added to the spell list, and these may be chosen from any spell list of implements contained in the panoply.

In order to use a panoply’s resonant power or a focus power, the occultist must have invested mental focus in the associated implements that day. A bearer must hold all of the panoply’s associated implements to gain the resonant power, and the total number of points of mental focus invested among all associated implements is used to determine the resonant power’s effect. Mental focus of any associated implement may be expended to power the panoply’s focus power, and a panoply may be chosen only once.

The pdf presents three such panoplies, the first being Deft Gambler’s Hands, consisting of gloves (evocation) and ring (illusion); the resonant power makes a damage die for every 2 mental focus invested rolled for a spell or focus power that comes up as a 1 or 2 count as a 3. Nice. The base focus power lets you spend 3 points of mental focus to create shadow evocation-style imitation or an evocation spell, with class levels increasing the degree of reality of the imitation spell. The focus powers allows you to share low-powered special item qualities among weaponry, fix parts of damage rolls (by number of dice) or increase your reach temporarily. Very cool!!

Jarl’s Wartorn Garb consists of crown (enchantment) and weapon (transmutation) has a scaling morale bonus applies to a type of roll, and the resonant power lets you spend mental focus as swift actions for short-term morale bonus for brief ability score bursts. The focus powers include temporarily increasing the maximum bonus of a resonant power can provide; you can negate voluntary attack penalties or temporarily unlock rage powers. Cool!

Finally, kyubi’s kindred consists of mask (illusion) and vest (transmutation) and makes the resonant power change your race to kitsune, with higher levels allowing you to assume specific humanoid forms and fox-forms, with the base focus power allowing you to duplicate Magical tail-like tricks. (no, can’t be cheesed!) Focus powers include immediate action mislead as a counter to being hit, conjuring foxfire and greater possession.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are very good on a formal and rules-language level. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the pdf comes with a cool artwork. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Sasha Laranoa Harving’s occultist panoplies are a true joy – for one, it’s awesome to see how far she has come regarding her design prowess. More than that, they are a genuinely cool concept, one that only has me sad that there probably won’t ever be new ones penned. The concept is tight, and thankfully, all the tools to make more are present for those up to the design task. A great occultist-expansion, this gets 5 stars and my seal of approval – highly recommended for fans of the imho criminally-underrated occultist class.

Endzeitgeist out

Everyman Minis: Creepy Creatures This Mini is currently only available as part of the Klickstarter bundle, and it actually is not a mini – the pdf clocks in at 23 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 4 pages of SRD, leaving us with 17 pages, so let’s take a look!

In case you missed out on one of my favorite creature types in all of Pathfinder, the introductory page recaps what a levialogos is (plural: levialogi) – first introduced in Paranormal Adventures, I’ve been a huge fan of these super-deadly foes and their ability to actually withstand the punishing powers of high-level PCs.

The creatures contained herein, just fyi, all come with their own original full-color artworks, which is pretty awesome. The first creature herein would be the Belledame (clever nod towards “beldam”), a CR 14/MR 7 that looks like a horrid amalgamation of a woman and a spider, with split arms; a SP-array includes the new level 5 terror spell included in the write up, a cone of fear effects that stacks with others and properly notes fear condition progression. The entity can create its own permanent demiplane that has an access to the mark’s home. Mark? Belledammes mark creatures younger than adult, gaining massive +6 bonuses against the target re attacks and plenty of skills. They may animate their own severed limbs (!!), and they may bind targets within their domain, preventing escape. Sounds eerily familiar? Yep, this is essentially a take on the supremely creepy monstrous being from the Coraline movie. LOVE IT!

At CR 6, we have the Saevedicteur demon, a bipedal frog/bear thing with a muscular tail. In its stomach, it has a funnel-mouth of prehensile teeth that can swallow whole foes. The attacks of the demon can intimidate and the tail can carry items or grapple. The tail can also be used to nauseate the target via tickling. As a bully-demon,, it can enfeeble targets, and their intimidation causes damage as well! These demons are very cool – plus, Jacob Blackmon’s artwork is one of my favorites from him – the stomach maw with its prehensile teeth is true nightmare fuel. Two variants are provided for bullying by size or age.

The gerana is a CR 13 magical beast reminiscent of a Large stork- They can at-will allfood, which is sweet and succulent to boot. But is has an effect that is scary – it reduces the target’s age by a number of years equal to the maximum age modifier, up to two age categories and minimum 1. Create water similarly creates milk or juice and meets nutritional needs; fabricate can generate child-rearing tools. The entity can use its body as equipment required for Profession (midwife) and takes no penalty when attempting to inflict nonlethal damage; they can swallow helpless creatures as if in a grapple, and as a standard action, can execute a sleeping song (making use of the excellent Sleeping Rules the series introduced!). If a target is reduced to a low age, the gerana swallows them, transports them to the ovaries and then proceeds to lay an egg, with the target regrowing to previous age, but with a complete mindwipe. Oh, and while they are neutral, those raised, much like cattle, will be slaughtered sooner or later. The creature does come with the babywearer’s sling magical item. This one…oh boy. I though the storkmen of the Undercroft-zine were creepy, but these? Oh boy! I Love it – totally disturbing and alien!

Marawai are obviously gremlins inspired, well, by Gremlins. You know, the movies. Their natural weapons count as 4 size categories larger, and they can add swift demoralize attempts to attacks. They have two forms: The adorable form is a great cover, and it requires sufficient food to enter monstrous form. Water makes them spawn more, while sunlight really hurts them. CR 4, fyi. A CR 13 troop-version is also provided. Neato!

The maternal hag (erroneously called “material hag” by its statblock header) clocks in at CR 8 and can transform the equipment of a target into child apparel with a nasty curse; the hag gets some serious mesmerist stares and spells, and the hag can execute multiple bites, swallow and grab. Swallow whole makes her look pregnant and causes Charisma damage; this ties in with her multi-target stares and hexes, for she gains a massive defensive boost if someone friendly or helpful is nearby – and she causes targets to have their mental age (see Childhood Adventures) regress. Oh, and guess what? Maternal hag changeling rules are presented as well. This is easily my favorite hag in all of Pathfinder.

Herkomurks are another critter that is unique – at CR 3, these aberrations are fluffy, Tiny and would be adorable, were it not for their massive teeth and quills. Whenever they consue freshly-killed, raw meat, they gain growth points, and they may make trample attacks by rolling over targets. With poison, quills, and paralytic poison (which has 4 variant penalties!), they are awesome, particularly since we get the modifications for all size categories from Small (CR 5) to Colossal (CR 20) – including attacks, DR, special qualities and attacks gained etc. Have you guessed the inspiration for these? :D

In the beginning of this review, I mentioned the levialogi – well, there are new ones inside – the first being the Agrilogos at CR 17. As befitting of the creature type, we have a massive array of immunities, but also bladed tentacles that may decapitate you, deadly attacks and sprints. And yes, the subtype has been reproduced herein for your convenience. The write-up also contains two poisons – cattlemind, which makes targets pliable feebleminded, and liquid persuasion, which enhances the means to convince targets of pretty much anything. It’s actually puzzling that we did not have the latter before – love it! The pdf also presents a CR ½ cessilogos – barely animate globs of leviathan blood sans hosts, and they come with notes to act as Improved Familiars for nongood casters of 7th level or higher.

Cool. The pdf also introduces the Levian – failed levialogi that have entered a symbiosis with their hosts; this is represented as a Cr +0 template that nets darkvision 30 ft or extends a pre-existing one by that range. The character can emit a levialash pseudopod from its body, drawn and stowed as a manufactured weapon that executes slam attacks of one of the three physical damage types, chosen upon acquiring the template. The template gets +10 to Disguise to pass as the base creature race and imposes a -2 penalty to Charisma-based checks and skill checks as well as Sense Motive checks opposed by Charisma. Nice – this is genuinely player-friendly! The levian can choose the Second Consciousness feat and may not have shared consciousness. This feat represents the levian having gained enough agency, allowing it to act as an improved familiar sans own body; it has no physical ability scores, dies when you die and can only take purely mental actions. It can speak verbally, telepathically with the host body and gain shared consciousness as a spiritualist of your character level, but no Skill Focus and the bonus vs. mind-affecting effects is halved. The levialogos is treated as a phantom for the purpose of effect-shunting. I love this angle! Really cool, and it’s something that will be inserted in my campaigns!

Conclusion: Editing and formatting on a formal level are good – I noticed a few typo-level hiccups, but none impeded rules-integrity. On a rules-language level, the pdf is precise and well-wrought. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the pdf has a surprising amount of neat full-color artworks by Jacob Blackmon, with some critters seriously being among my favorite pieces by his pen. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Alexander Augunas and Luis Loza deliver one of the coolest little bestiaries I’ve seen for Pathfinder. All creatures herein accomplish several feats: 1) They are genuinely frightening in some way. 2) They are mechanically distinct, often doing things that no other creature I’m aware of attempts. 3) They come with some nice and well-written prose to contextualize them. 4) They occupy unique angles and themes and go above and beyond the call of duty regarding their narrative potential. The monsters herein are all killer, no filler, and warrant getting the bundle on their own. 5 stars + seal of approval, given without the slightest bit of hesitation – this is what creatures should be, an apex-level array of awesome, intelligent, and seriously wicked monsters, brimming with genuine creativity. Also, nominated as a candidate for my Top Ten of 2019.

Endzeitgeist out.

Everyman Minis: Bloodrager Bloodlines

This Mini is exclusively available as part of the Klickstarter bundle. It clocks in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

On the introductory page, we have a new feat, namely Bloodsurge, which requires bloodcasting and bloodrage as well as the option to cast one or more bloodline spells. While bloodraging, this lets you expend 4 rounds of bloodrage to cast one bloodline spell sans provoking an AoO, casting against your regular daily spell allotment. Also, while bloodraging, you increase spell save DC by +2 for bloodrager spells, which later scales up to +3 and +4, respectively, when getting the improved bloodrage abilities greater bloodrage and mighty bloodrage, respectively.

The pdf contains 5 new bloodlines, the first of which would be the accursed, whose theme is interesting – we have Accursed Critical and Improved Dirty Trick as well as Intimidating Prowess and feats based on being tougher as bonus feats, with curse-related spells among the bonus spells listed. The bloodline powers include limited use misfortune strikes, swift action demoralize and the option to make targets hit during surprise briefly shaken. High levels include rolling twice once per round on a variety of checks, and the capstone provides immunities versus hexes and curses as well as effects that would impose basically disadvantage – you know, roll twice, take worse result.

The axiomite bloodline features Power Attack, Expertise and things like Blind-Fight, with bonus spells including true strike, arrow of law, etc.- the abilities include the option to deal average damage. Then, the bloodline nets 20% concealment via swirling glyphs and crystalline runes; scaling electricity resistance and the ability to issue commands to constructs. There is an ability that lets you modify d%-rolls by up to 20, when e.g. using a rod of wonder (not in italics), and the capstone nets immunity to disease, electricity and mind-affecting effects.

The haunted bloodline provides Combat Casting, Ectoplasmic Spell and e.g. Skill Focus (Stealth) as bonus feat choices and features spells such as chill touch, fly and later, fear, as bonus spell options. The bloodline has a potent attack that represents aging and manifests as bonus damage – this bypasses Dr, but is limited, so I’m good with it for once. Ghost touch while bloodraging, scaling cold resistance and bonuses to saves vs. death effects. At 12th level, we can use telekinesis as an SP, and this may be used with Quicken magic, costing bloodrage rounds instead. Ability drain and quasi-incorporeal defenses complement the high-level abilities of this bloodline.

The protean bloodline is not simply a mirror of the axiomite one – it nets the fortification benefits while bloodraging, with the type of effect contingent on level. Blindsense, adaptive resistance and freedom of movement may be found as well. High level options include shapechange (not in italics) while bloodraging, and a second Fort-save and immunity to hostile transmutation complement this one. The bonus feat and bonus spell-selection are also nice.

Finally, there would be the underverse bloodline, which ties in with the amazing concept featured in e.g. the great Everyman Mini: Lost Children. The bonus feats include Dazzling Display (which may be used as a standard action while bloodraging, thankfully!), and from long arm to horrific doubles, I genuinely liked the bonus spell selection here. The bloodline starts with feat of fear benefits while bloodraging. Cool: This has limits that prevent the obvious abuse that would otherwise be possible. Bluff to feint and all intimidate checks are enhanced by the bloodrage’s Strength bonus, and at 8th level, combat maneuvers no longer provoke AoOs, and 1/round, you can spend a round of bloodrage to use a combat maneuver or demoralize/feint as a swift action. This ability is a game-changer that genuinely rewards tricky fighting. The high-level options include the options to strike foes and expend bloodrage to make targets reduce their age temporarily (cool!), and the high-level options include nightmare-ish aspects of the Underverse – a low-range black tentacles corona, and at 20th level, even frightful aspect while bloodraging. This is a cool one, as it genuinely made me want to play a character based on it – something that only few bloodlines have achieved.

Conclusion: Editing is very good on a formal and rules-language level; formatting is good, bordering on very good. Layout adheres to a 2-column full-color standard, and the pdf comes with a nice artwork. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Alexander Augunas delivers a cool array of bloodlines here. They will probably not all make you a bloodrager fan if you aren’t already one, but they offer well-crafted options and do some creative things with the bloodline engine. That being said, the underverse bloodline? Gold. All in all, a good pdf. My final verdict will clock in at 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

Everyman Minis: Perplexingly Bizarre Archetypes

This Mini is exclusively available as part of the Klickstarter bundle. It clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page introduction, 3 pages of SRD, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

Okay, so, let me take you on a brief journey – what you may not know: When archetypes first showed up, they were options available for all classes and pioneered by Super Genius Games, the precursor-version of Rogue Genius Games. When Paizo adapted the concept, they went class-specific with it, and the rest is history.

Why is this relevant? Because we have moved back to this concept herein, or forward towards Starfinder’s concept, if you will – this pdf contains a selection of multiclass archetypes that replace class features of one or more of the following levels – 1st, 3rd, 7th, 12th, 17th and 20th. We are breaking down every single one of the official paizo-classes, beginning with a list of the respective class features lost for these archetypes, and yes, this does include vigilante, occult classes, etc. With the very crunchy breakdown of these, the pdf provides the means for GMs to make informed decisions regarding 3rd party classes as well, which is something I very much welcomed. These are btw. precise and don’t break the base classes, so kudos there. It’s one of the design tasks that is tough and probably pretty unrewarding to pull off, so double kudos here.

Anyhow, let’s start with the first multiclass archetype, the chimeraborn. The chimeraborn’s base size is not that of a humanoid, but of a magical beast twice as long and eight times as heavy. The chimeraborn treat their creature type as both magical beast and base creature for the purpose of abilities such as favored enemy or bane (not itlalicized properly); minor nitpick: What about abilities that would be detrimental to magical beasts, but beneficent to the base creature? A caveat such as inserting a “detrimental” would have solved that ambiguity. In chimera-form, the archetype is one size category larger and has three heads – one of the humanoid, and two chosen from animals, dragons and magical beasts. The heads grant a natural attack of her choice among those listed, the senses noted in the head’s entry, and Skill Focus with a listed head’s entry. An animal head nets a bite or gore, low-light vision, scent and Skill Focus may apply to the physical skills such as Acrobatics, etc. The Skill focus may only apply to a skill the animal has. Dragon-heads net a bite attack, low-light vision and darkvision60 ft., and has a different Skill Focus list, and may apply Skill Focus on skills the dragon doesn’t have. Magical beast heads can choose bites or gore attacks, low-light vision and darkvision60 ft. and the same Skill Focus list as the animal head minus Survival, but without the caveat that the magical beast needs to have the proper skill.

The chimeraborn’s base form is nonhuman, increasing armor cost, and in chimera form, no prehensile hand-contingent operations may be executed. The archetype nets the change shape universal creature rule, and the humanoid form is consistent and has the humanoid head. In humanoid form, the chimeraborn loses the head benefits minus Skill Focus. This replaces the 1st level ability. AT 3rd level, the other heads develop distinct personalities, but share languages and mental ability scores; they grant a +4 bonus to saving throws versus mind-affecting effects, which increases to +8 at 12th level. 1/day, when failing a save against such an effect, the chimeraborn may shunt a mind-affecting effect into another head. This halves the save bonus (minimum +0 if both heads are affected) and the head’s benefits as noted in the entry. Spells such as dispel magic end the shunted effect as normal. At 7th level, chimeraborn gain an ability corresponding to one of three ability categories that the head’s creature has access to. These abilities are grouped in minor, major and supreme abilities and sport lists, but can be easily expanded based on the examples provided. Alternatively, a natural attack may be chosen, and all senses expand. At 12th level, two abilities may be chosen from minor or major abilities, and 17th level nets a third ability set, one for each head. The capstone yields more abilities as well as a +6 size bonus to Strength and +2 to Dexterity and Constitution.

The second archetype would be the Herald of the Puppet God, who replaces an Intelligence-governed skill with Perform (acting) as a class skill, or gain Skill Focus for it instead if that already is a class skill. The archetype may also use this skill as a Knowledge (religion) substitute for their deity. 1st level nets a puppet god that takes the form of a masterwork puppet; once it’s slid over the hand, it can only be removed by divine intervention, and thus, the hand may not be used for anything. It does grant a +4 shield bonus to AC, which improves by +1 at 3rd level and every 4 levels thereafter, which caps at +9 at 15th level. Wait. Shouldn’t that be +8? Or should that be 19th level as the cap? The archetype gets to choose one boon per day; there are 6 different ones, with each corresponding to one of the ability scores. These include getting 1.5 times Strength modifier to melee damage with puppet god-wielded weaponry, and increase base weapon damage to 1d10 when proficient with it. +1/2 archetype level to damage rolls, limited use advantage, i.e. roll twice, take better result, of rolls (or disadvantage (roll twice, take worse result) cancelation) – quite a few nice options. 3rd level nets a domain granted by the puppet god, and spells are cast as SPs. 7th level nets archetype level minutes per day where a second boon may be in place, with activation as a swift action, and at 17th level, instead of this, the character can choose divine vessel. 12th level further upgrades the base boons to have an empowered version that is paid for with the duration of the second boon option. 20th level makes divine vessel as at-will when using the second boon, and automatically empowers second boons. Yep, we actually have a fully functional OOTS-based archetype, and one that I consider to be actually interesting!

The third archetype would be the Isekai Avatar. These beings are folks from our world, actually savvy RPG-players, stranded in the RPG-world – they get 1 bonus skill rank that must be invested in Lore, which they can use to identify hazards or creatures, abilities such as feats, etc. – this replaces 4 skills, starting with Knowledge skills. The Isekai Avatar chooses two ability scores and gains a +1 insight bonus to AC, atk, saves and ability and skill checks, with all abilities based on the two ability scores chosen. For Strength, this increases carrying capacity, for Constitution, an additional Hit Point corresponding to the bonus. 3rd level and every 4 levels thereafter increase this bonus by +1. 12th level adds 2 further ability scores. These chosen ability score related components’ rolls may be rerolled 3+ Charisma (minimum 0) times per day. 7th level lets them choose an 11 when rolling on the d20, up to half archetype level times per day. 17th level nets a +5 inherent bonus to one such chosen ability score, and the capstone unlocks the benefits for all 6 ability scores, and adds a second score to gain the +5 boost, and these boosts may be reassigned every day. This is super-cool!

Finally, there would be the tyrannomorph, who gets Intimidate as a class skill, and one bonus skill per level that must be invested in that skill. The archetype gets Disguise to disguise themselves as a Tyrannosaurus Rex and may disguise as such as a standard action, with penalties due to size-differences halved and archetype level as a bonus to Disguise checks to execute this disguise. This costs 2 skills, one of which must be Dexterity-based; if Intimidate already is a class skill, one of the player’s choice is lost instead. The archetype nets a natural bite attack dealing piercing damage equal to a monk’s unarmed strike, and the bite may be used as a primary or secondary natural attack (properly codified!), and treats bite as a one-handed light melee weapon and natural attack. Furthermore, the bite may be adjusted with mundane weapon qualities, which is pretty cool! 3rd level and every 4 levels thereafter lets the archetype apply one of a massive selection of special weapon qualities, and e.g. sunder etc. also applies damage to weapon with the right quality. Complaint – these are not properly formatted. 3rd level nets a +1 enhancement bonus to natural AC that increases by +1 for every 3 archetype levels, to a maximum of +5 at 12th level.

Wait, what? It’s gained at 3rd level at +1; 6th level = +2; 9th level = +3; this means that 12th level should be +4 – or that it should be 15th level at +5. I assume the latter here. 7th level nets low-light vision and scent, or, if they had it, a bonus feat chosen from the list per sense. 12th level increases the Disguise check to assume T-Rex-form to a move action, and when doing so, the archetype can now self-buff, increasing size to a maximum of Huge, as well as improving AC. This is usable for archetype level minutes per day. 17th level further improves the means to increase size category to Gargantuan, action economy to a swift action and speed as well as Disguise boosts. Maximum duration per day also increases to 10 minutes per archetype level. The capstone is the final step of this progression, capping now at Colossal, and makes the self-buff at-will.

Conclusion: Editing is very good on a formal level and also on a rules-language level; apart from the two instances I noted (same glitch, really), this is fully operational in spite of its impressive difficulty. Formatting is tight on both levels. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Alexander Augunas and Owen K.C. Stephens provide some true gems here – these archetypes are crunchy, radically weird and experimental in all the right ways. Outrageous and novel, on the content side, I loved this. The bonus cap glitches surprised me as a minor blemish, though it’s genuinely not one that influences balance in the slightest – or functionality. The +1 bonus does not break anything. And frankly, in light of how outré and novel the material herein still is, I couldn’t care less about it. Hence, my final verdict will be 4.5 stars, rounded up, and this does get my seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.

Everyman Minis: Everyman Races

This „Mini“ is only available as part of the Klickstarter bundle, and clocks in at 29 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 4 pages of SRD, leaving us with an impressive23 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

After a brief history of some races previously introduced in other systems, we dive right into the first of the racial write-ups, which deserves some explanation: Much to my joy, the respective racial write-ups do feature pretty detailed notes on physical descriptions, physiology, life cycle, culture, cuisine and relationships with other races. This is particularly nice, since the racial write ups take the best of both worlds in a manner of speaking. The helpful “If you are an X…” and “Others probably think that you…” sections that Starfinder introduced have been applied here as well – and we get very detailed vital statistics tables that differentiate also between sexes, thus allowing the tables to account for different lifespans. Notes on ethnic groups and languages featured are also included herein, which put a huge grin on my face. If you’re familiar with the authors other races, you’ll know that they tend to come in as races that feel distinct and unique in how they are presented. Please bear in mind that the races presented here feel like genuinely organic cultures, not just like collections of stats. While I focus on mechanics in this review, it should be noted that each of the races has some serious appeal.

It should also be noted that we receive massive lists of favored class options for each race – one for every single Paizo class, including samurai, ninjas, vigilantes and even shifters has been provided, which is a huge boon. There also is a feat that is relevant for favored class options -. Versatile Favored Class requires that you belong to a race with a favored class bonus that may be selected regardless of class, and with this feat, you get the class’s favored class bonus in addition to either +1 skill rank, +1 hit point, or the general boon that can be taken regardless of class.

This pdf contains 4 different races, two of which may be familiar to fans of PFRPG, with the first being the Yroometji, the cool kangaroo-men race that previously suffered a bit from the limited space allotted in its everyman mini. Yroometji get +2 Con and Cha, -2 Int, are Medium humanoids with the yroometji subtype, have a base speed of 30 feet, low-light vision, and they have a pouch, with Medium yroometji capable of holding up to 1 cubic foot and 10 pounds in weight; these double per size category increase, or are halved for size reductions. Retrieving or transferring an item to the pouch is a swift or move action, but armor or a body slot item can prevent this, unless the armor/item has been specifically designed to accommodate this feature. Rules for the additional costs involved in doing so have been provided. Yroometji have an extraordinary ability to fly, with average maneuverability (As a minor nitpick – that is usually designated in the header of the ability in PFRPG, not in the text), but the movement must end on the ground or fall; +8 racial bonus to Acrobatics when jumping and the ability to always take 10 on Acrobatics checks made to jump complements this. Yroometji have a natural slam attack that can cause bludgeoning (tail) or piercing damage (feet) – defaulting to primary is not an issue here. The pdf contains the Deadly Slam feat, which allows the yroometji to increase the two slam attack options – feet can cause both piercing and bludgeoning damage (not a fan of the dual damage type) and increase critical threat range to 19-20m while attacks with the tail are treated as a larger size and as though having brace and trip. Other body parts may also be used to attack, but don’t raw receive these improvements.

There are, as noted before, two races that SFRPG-fans may be familiar with. Originally introduced in the Age of Eletrotech setting, the raccoon-folk nashi are Small humanoids with the nashi subtype, get +2 Intelligence, and low-light vision. They also get to choose two skills from a list and receive a +2 racial bonus when using these skills. Nashi do not take the usual -2 penalty for attempting skills that require tools with improvised tools, instead gaining a +1 circumstance bonus – this only applies to trained skills, and represents the race’s ingenuity. Like it! The nashi also are defined by their excellent sense of touch, which acts a s type of blindsense equal to their reach, though this is not extended by effects that increase reach, unless they last more than 1 round and apply to unarmed strikes. Cool!

The other race that fans of Starfinder may be familiar with, would be the skunk-folk called mephians. Tehse fellows receive +2 Constitution, are Medium humanoids with the mephian subtype, have a base speed of 30 ft. and gain Skill Focus as a 1st level bonus feat, applying it to one of the social skills. They also choose 2 skills, which are added to their class skill list. Overlap with class skills from 1st level classes instead translates to a +2 racial bonus check. Mephians have a +1 natural armor bonus and, of course, they have their musk: As a standard action, they can attempt a melee touch attack, and if they hit, the foe must succeed on a Dc 10 + ½ character level + Constitution modifier save or be sickened for 10 minutes. The penalty is increased for poor creatures with scent. On a successful save, a creature is immune to this ability for 24 hours, and it made be used Constitution modifier +1/2 total level times per day. The mephians have 3 different options to enhance their musk: Musk Pitch increases uses of musk by 1 and lets the mephian use it as a 10-ft.-range spray. Musk Slap is a combat feat nets you a tail attack and lets you use this attack in conjunction with musk. Slightly odd – the feat mentions the option to affect a target more than once per round, which is RAW not possible due to the 24-hour caveat. That being said, this does not compromise the rules-integrity. Thirdly, there would be Musk Whirlwind is a unique twist on a musk-only Whirlwind Attack, with its own scaling mechanics for maximum spurts of musk per round. Usable as a standard action, this is an interesting alteration of basic musk engine.

Now, the strange creature you can see on the cover? That would be the grinnikin, the final new race included herein. Grinnikin get +2 Dex and Int, -2 Str, are fey with the shapechanger subtype and receive the change shape universal monster ability, but can only use it to change their size to Fine or Diminutive, and as you could glean from that, their regular size is actually Tiny. Grinnikin have a 20 ft.-movement rate and a fly speed of 20 ft. with average maneuverability Until they have 5 ranks in Fly, they need to end their turn on the ground or fall, retaining the implicit limitations of PFRPG. They have low-light vision and a 1d3 natural bite attack as well as an array of SPs that include constant feather fall (self only, reestablishes itself automatically after being dispelled), as well as 1/day ghost sound, memory lapse and prestidigitation. They are supreme omnivores and are immune to all ingested poisons and can safely chew, swallow and digest any substance with a hardness of 10 or less. Damaging items can damage the grinnikin until consumed. I love this! It has so many angles to creatively roleplay! The race is supplemented by two feats – one that may be taken by any fey,m the Fey Servant, which makes animal companions or mounts gain a bonus to Will-saves as well as scaling DR/cold iron, SR of master level +5 and change shape, and the means to assume a fixed Small or Medium shape as per alter self (not italicized). This accounts properly for types and Handle Animal use, if applicable. The second feat if grinnikin-exclusive, Grinnikin Dust, and requires Cha 13+ This feat nets you Charisma modifier +1/2 character level points, and you can spend 1 of these points as to create grinnikin dust, which may be thrown as a ranged touch attach, sprinkled on weaponry, used in melee touch attacks or the like as a standard action, except when charging a weapon, in which case it’s a free action. The weapon remains charged until the end of the grinnikin’s turn or dealing damage, replacing the weapon’s damage inflicted. The dust can stun, shrink, or put targets to sleep – all potent options, with scaling save DCs governed by Charisma, but the substitution of the effect for weapon damage keeps this in check.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are very good on a formal and rules-language level. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and each race receives their own kickass full-color artwork. The pdf comes fully bookmarked with nested bookmarks, allowing for quick and painless navigation.

Alexander Augunas provides a couple of genuinely cool races here, options that don’t just feel like an accumulation of numbers, but that have their own distinct identities. The races are well-crafted, unique and fun, making this a nice pdf/component of the bundle. My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

Everyman Minis: Familiar Archetypes

This Mini is exclusively available as part of the Klickstarter-bundle and clocks in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

So, first, some rules: Shapechanging familiars must have the same archetype for all forms, and improved familiar abilities don’t stack with those of familiar archetypes that alters or replaces the variable bonus a familiar grants or the ability to speak with animals of its kind.

The pdf contains 8 familiar archetypes: The figurine familiar replaces emphatic bond with the change shape universal monster ability and the familiar may assume the form of a stone figurine that fits into the master’s palm, which means they cease to detect as alive. While in figurine form, the familiar can sense the master’s emotional state while on their person. Harbingers of fate grant the master Improved Initiative and get speak with master at 1st level, replacing Alertness. The familiar can cast augury (not italicized properly) ½ master’s level times per week as a SP, replacing empathic link and deliver touch spells. This obviously is to make up for the power-increase granted by Improved Initiative. Share spells is relegated to 5th level and 13th level allows for four augury uses to instead use divination. Spell-references, once more, not italicized properly. This replaces scry on familiar.

The jinx has the master’s class level ranks in Acrobatics, and gains its level as a competence bonus to move through an opponent’s threatened area or through their space. They also get a +4 dodge bonus to AC and CMD versus AoOs. This replaces share spells. At third level, an when a jinx is in an opponent’s threatened area, they suffer a -1 penalty to ability checks, attack rolls, saving throws and skill checks, while the master gains a luck bonus to one of these check types. If the jinx is in the target’s space, the jinx can force a reroll of such a check as an immediate action, forcing the foe to take the new result. This replaces share spells. So, the massive defense boost is there to make buzzing around in dangerous areas more viable. Wouldn’t recommend this for witch familiars, but an interesting option. Spell eaters lose deliver touch spells and scry familiar in favor of making natural attacks count as dispelling. Additionally, 1/day, the familiar may store a dispel magic spell inside, applying enhancement bonuses to natural attacks, if any, to dispel checks. 11th level allows for the use of this as a SP, and 13th level upgrades dispelling to dispelling burst (oddly, both not properly italicized), and both greater dispel magic and dispel magic stored can be cast as SPs. Both spell references are not in italics. Speaking with animals is replaced at 7th level with the chance to store spells dispelled, provided the check beats the DC by 5 or more, as though the familiar were spell storing and then cast it as an SP. The spell must be 3rd level or lower, and 9th level and every 2 levels thereafter increase the maximum spell level by 1, capping at 6th spell level. This one would be a bit easier to grasp in its functionality if its formatting was concisely implemented. That being said, it is an interesting twist!

Steed nets the familiar change shape with a form identical to the base form, save that it’s one size category larger than the master. Ability score, size bonuses, skill bonuses and weapon damage are NOT adjusted, though carrying capacity is. This replaces Alertness. I like this. I assume special size modifiers also are not applied? The Traveler archetype loses improved evasion in lieu of a pocket dimension accessible via plane shift, usable 2/day to its own cozy dimension. One reference of the spell is missing the formatting. Fresh food and water exist inside the dimension, but are not codified – could the familiar bring e.g. infinite food out of the dimension? Deliver touch spells is replaces with the dimensional slide arcanist exploit, with arcanist level equal to master level, and the familiar counts as having an arcane reservoir with 3 points, which increase by 1 point at 3rd level and every 2 levels thereafter. 7th level allows for the expenditure of one point from this reservoir to use jester’s jaunt as a SP, replacing the speak with animal ability. 13th level allows for the use of 4 arcane reservoir to cast dimension door as a SP, replacing scry on familiar. The spell reference is not in italics.

Tutelary familiars may only be familiars that contain their master’s spells, such as the familiar of a witch or shaman. Instead of Alertness, we have the ability to speak and understand all languages the master knows, +1 for every 2 levels beyond 1st. They also increase aid another’s bonus to assist the master to +3. Instead of share spells, the tutelary familiar can 1/day teach a spell to the master as a standard action. The master must be within 30 ft. and able to hear the familiar. On their next turn, the master may swap one prepared spell for a different spell of the same spell level that the familiar knows. If the master has an open, empty spell slot, they instead can immediately prepare the spell.

Ward familiars gain 2 + Intelligence bonus times the master’s level skill ranks. Minor nitpick: It’s obvious from context that the “2” should be multiplied along, but following regular math syntax, this would RAW not be the case. The ward familiar gains class skills, armor and weapon proficiencies of the master’s familiar-granting class. If the familiar was gained from non-class source, 8 skills of the familiar’s choice are class skills, and it gains proficiency with light armor, shields and simple weapons. This replace the ability to share the master’s skill ranks, Intelligence increase and empathic links. The ward’s base form is that of a humanoid creature of a specific age and race, with ability scores generated as though a PC with a 10-pt.-buy. The ward gets +2 to an ability score at 4th level and every 4 levels thereafter, and the wards gains all racial traits of the race and change shape, which allows the ward to transform into a specific Small or smaller animal suitable for serving as a familiar, and in this form, the master gains the associated familiar boons, and also the natural AC bonus. This replaces Alertness and speak with master. At 7th level, the familiar gains the simple class template (once erroneously called “simple class graft”); for the purpose of these, the familiar is treated as 1 HD until 11th level, where this suddenly increases to 6 HD, and further increases by 1 HD for every 2 levels of the master. This replaces speak with animals, spell resistance and scry on familiar.

It should be noted that plenty of classes are NOT covered by the standard simple class template array – if you need them all, you’ll probably require The Genius Guide to Simple Class Templates for Monsters.

Conclusion: Editing is very good on a rules-language level; on a formal level, there are a couple of typos, and particularly formatting issues abound, with a LOT of hiccups, ranging from template/graft to missed italics. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the pdf comes with a great full-color artwork. That cuddling pipefox? I so want one. Endy has stars in the eyes The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

David N. Ross delivers a solid array of familiar archetypes that change the functionality of familiar options for the better. I genuinely love how diverse these are. A couple of these options do seem to be pretty potent, but ultimately, since familiars are a precious commodity, they are kept in check by the dangers of losing them. Mechanically, I really like this one, and as a person, this is a pdf I very much enjoyed. As a reviewer, however, the formal glitches do accumulate, and as such, my final verdict can’t exceed 3.5 stars, though, as a private person, because the concept and implementation is awesome, I round up. That being said, if you are particular about a book’s formatting, you should probably consider this to be a 3-stars file. My official reviewer’s rating, alas, can’t round up from 3.5 stars – there are simply too many of these formatting glitches here.

Endzeitgeist out.

Everyman Minis: Soulless

This Everyman Mini clocks in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let‘s take a look!

So, on the introductory page, we have a brief summary of the triumvirate of body, mind and soul and what they mean. For the purpose of this book, the body is the vessel that contains the mind and soul, acting as the medium by which mind and soul interact; undead result from minds so strong as to animate bodies without a soul. The mind is a waking consciousness, and includes the sense of self, and represents the medium by which mortals make decisions and act upon them; in a way, it is a go-between of body and soul, existing as equal parts physical and metaphysical; destruction can occur metaphysically (though insanity or breaking down of a world-view) or physical (though degenerative brain diseases or damage). Without a mind, a creature lacks a diving force and the creature has no ability to etch emotions into the soul. The soul, finally, is metaphysical, a mortal’s animating force and the part of a mortal being most true to their self. It is a repository for the memories and emotions experienced. Without a body, soul and mind usually pass on to the afterlife. Usually. This little breakdown, with its almost Jungian notions, may be just a column, but it’s one I very much enjoyed seeing here.

Now that we know about the soul, what about the soulless? The first would be a Medium outsider, the incorporeal soulless gloom, which clocks in at CR 3. It can flatten itself as a move action to shadow size, which prevents being targeted as a single creature, but the gloom is also limited to movement. Very cool, and should be the base ability for shadows and similar creatures. The pdf also includes the CR 10 gloomtide, which, in an interesting angle, represents a Gargantuan accumulation of glooms, which gets a swarm attack, but is no swarm – it doesn’t have the immunities or the like – it essentially is a demi-swarm and clearly is intended to work in this strange way. The tide can also hurl components of itself to other places, creating temporary mini-tides. I loved the execution here!

At CR 9, Kyrshin’s soulless take the iconic kitsune mascot and provides a pretty deadly adversary with unchained fighter tricks – include a super-powerful cone-block that negates attack effects in a cone. I love this one, and with the cooldown and the array of Stamina-based tricks, this is a really cool adversary. Did I mention the Whirlwind Attack that also creates sakura/cherry-blossom magic missiles? Very cool!

Soulless is a template that can be added to living creatures with an Intelligence and Charisma score of 3+ that is not an outsider. CR is that of the base creature + its Charisma modifier; +1 if the creature is evil, and extremely evil creatures may increase that by up to +10. For every CR-increase gained this manner, we get +1 racial HD and a custom special attack. Cool! Size is usually akin to the base creature, but good creature’s soulless may be up to 2 size categories smaller, while evil creature’s soulless may be up to two size categories larger, with CR modified by -1/+1 per size category. Creature type changes to outsider and the creature becomes incorporeal and soulless re subtypes. Creatures with strong elemental ties may gain that subtype as well. Soulless can sense nearby souls with a unique, custom sense, and gain a profane bonus to AC equal to 1 +1 for every 4 BAB the creature has. Beyond being incorporeal, soulless get DR/- equal to the BAB and SR 11 + ½ BAB or CL, whichever is higher. Spellcasting ability adds +2 to the SR. Soulless slaying creatures eligible for the template generate more, and they have the soul armament – a weaponry or spell soul; weaponry mimics natural or manufactured weapons, save that the inflict 1+ ½ the soulless’ CR times d6, with the spell soul instead acting as a SP usable as a ranged or melee touch attack, inflicting the soulless’ CR times d6s. Damage type is contingent on attack/nature of the soulless. The soulless does lose its Intelligence, having no mind – they only have Intelligence 2, which is probably a huge boon for all living…

Conclusion: Editing and formatting on a formal and rules language level are very good. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard and the pdf sports a cool artwork in full-color. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Alexander Augunas’ soulless are pretty damn cool – if anything, I really wished we got more about the whole body-mind-soul trinity here; the concepts sound plausible and like they very much would offer more options beyond those explored. The soulless template is fun and dangerous, and the pseudo-swarm gloomtide? Really cool angle, making this a quasi-but-not-really swarm. All in all, a great little supplement. 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.

Everyman Minis: Squishikin Archetypes

This Mini, exclusively available as part of the Klickstarter bundle, clocks in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

The introduction-page recaps what a squishikin is (basically, a construct that became sentient by intense positive emotions), with a cool sample fluff write-up, Biddle Bear, provided.

(And yes, you should get the amazing Everyman Mini: Squishikins – they’re awesome, and I assume familiarity with the race here.)

We begin with 6 new alternate racial traits, the first of which would be Abnormal Facsimile, which lets you make aberration (+2 racial bonus to saves vs. disease, mind-affecting effects and poison), constructs (Great Fortitude), dragons (30 ft. fly with clumsy maneuverability, needs to end flight on floor or fall until 7 ranks Fly are gained), fey (+2 racial bonus to saves vs, enchantments and illusions as well as treated as having the Combat Expertise and Intelligence 13+ for Improved combat maneuver feats), ooze (Toughness) or outsiders, choosing subtype from elements/alignments and gain +1 to saves and AC versus the subtype chosen. Basically, this doubles the options presented by facsimile. Alternatively, a squishikin can have a unique form, which translates to a bonus feat chosen from a list. Emotional awareness nets Sense Motive as class skill and 1/day detect thoughts as an SP, replacing astute senses. These may also be replaced with Skill Focus (Diplomacy) and the skill as class skill, +2 if the skill is already a class skill, and a 1/day roll twice, take the better result option. There also is an option to be Medium instead of Small. All of these are well-crafted and precise in their equivalent exchanges.

Abnormal facsimile squisikins can choose the Improved Abnormality feat at 3rd level, gaining benefits depending on the facsimilar source, which can include natural attacks, low-level SPs, AC, etc. Cool! Toy Spellcasting requires Conceal Spell and lets you cast spells while in plushy form. Cool!

The pdf also contains a pretty meaty archetype – the misfit toy antipaladin! Yeah, you heard right! The misfit toy’s power stems not from adherence of a code of conduct, but from the belief of being unworthy of love or acceptance or fated to never gain these. Restoring the misfit toy’s sense of self-worth makes them become paladins. This is pretty cool, as it includes eliminating the antipaladin’s alignment restrictions. Smite evil is replaced with grudged strike, which is executed as a swift action, designating a foe within 30 ft. Against a grudged foe, the misfit toy gets a +1 morale bonus to atk rolls and damage rolls, as well as +1 to bluff made to feint the target, Intimidate to demoralize and opposed skill checks. These bonuses can only be maintained against one opponent at a given time.. The grudged opponent provokes AoOs from the misfit toy when attempting attacks or non-harmless abilities against the misfit toy. The bonuses scale, and 7th level and every 6 thereafter net the ability to maintain an additional grudged foe at a given time. I like this one! Touch of conflict is replaced with a better-balanced touch that can freely choose physical damage type and doesn’t heal undead; it’s otherwise treated as a mind-affecting pain effect. 3rd level allows for the channeling of this touch through weapon attacks at increased daily use cost, and channel negative energy is replaced with the means to inflict pain by expending daily uses of the touch. The archetype draws spells from the spiritualist spell-list. This ties in with the amazing replacement for fiendish boon, which may be triggered as a standard action. For 1 minute per class level, spirit-bound blade’s benefits of a chosen phantom emotional focus (chosen anew when using the ability), and Emotional Conduit-like benefits are included as well. Daily uses increase by +1 every 4 levels after 5th. At 7th level, being in this state also carries a 7th level phantom’s ability, and 14th level nets DR and the option to organically change emotional focus. The capstone acts as a further delimiter – and yeah, this ability tree replaces the auras.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are very good on a formal and rules-language level, with only two minor typo level hiccups that don’t influence rules-integrity. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the artwork presented is awesome. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Sasha Laranoa Harving has vastly stepped up her game over the last year or so, and this is a perfect example of this. Much like the awesome occult panoply mini contained in this bundle, the options for squishikins are well-crafted, show a keen understanding of even rare and implicit design limitations and assumptions, and are high-concept and fun. If you enjoy squishikins even in the slightest, this makes the bundle a must-own expansion, particularly since the non-evil anti-paladin archetype is frankly amazing, also eliminating the nova issue of the paladin/antipaladin with a more organic and fun engine that enhances player agenda. Touch of conflict is also admirably precise and made me smile. This is a glorious little expansion worthy of 5 stars + seal of approval! Huge kudos!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Everyman Minis: EveryPath Klickstarter Bundle
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Star Log.EM-063: Mephians
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/30/2019 08:24:30

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Star Log.EM-series clocks in at 9 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

Mephians in the Xa-Osoro system are natives of Terros, a relaxed and community-driven species that has endured their fair share of prejudice, courtesy of their looks and ability to exude a type of musk akin to the skunks they resemble. And yes, get out all your Pepe Le Pew jokes now. :) (As aside, a mephian Casanova with Gambit-esque ambitions was pretty much immediately a compelling character-concept I came up with…)

The pdf presents a mephian subtype graft, but fails to note the subtype in the race’s viral statistics, which is a bit of a guffaw. Mephians receive +2 Constitution, 4 Hit Points, are Medium, and when wearing armor, they gain a +1 racial bonus to AC; while wearing heavy armor, they armor check penalty is 1 less severe. Mephians gain Skill Focus at 1st level, but must choose Diplomacy or Sense Motive. They choose two skills at character creation and add them to the list of class skills; if either is already a class skill, they instead gain a +2 racial bonus to skill checks attempted with both skills. This allows for some seriously potent minmaxing regarding Diplomacy and Sense Motive in particular. Mephians may, as a standard action, secrete a musk and attempt a melee attack against an opponent’s EAC. On a successful hit, the foe must succeed on a DC 10 + ½ mephian’s level + key ability modifier or become sickened for 10 minutes. Creatures with blindsense (scent) or similar abilities suffer a -4 penalty on this save. Mephians, nonliving creatures and those without a sense of smell are immune. Whether or not the target makes the save, they are immune to this ability for 24 hours. After 3 uses, they cannot use it again until they spend 1 Resolve Point to regain Stamina.

The pdf has 2 supplemental feats: Keen Scent nets a mephian with 1 rank in Perception blindsense (scent) 30 ft., and at the same prerequisite, we have Musk Diffusion. This makes the target hit with your musk emit the smell in a 10 ft.-radius or sicken allies for a shorter duration. This gets the musk caveat right.

Now, races, as I often remark, are more than just their rules: As such, this pdf goes into surprising and compelling details regarding mephian culture – the book includes notes on “If you’re a Mephian, you likely…” and “Others probably…” These really made me smile: “Other probably…Are confused when they see you wearing pants.” XD (Fyi, as the write-up notes – the musk glands are in the tail, not in the posterior…) Interesting – while in many regards akin to humans in how they mature, mephians are often bisexual, sporting obviously a different type of community fabric than we do. And yes, I had the gambit idea before reading this tidbit of information.)This is also represented in the cool notion of switching child rearing duties for years on end! In their pretty wholesome and positive society, this actually works and is something the kinds (and parents!) benefit from. (Mephians also have a genetic propensity for having issues with seeing across long distances, though genetic therapy helps. Still, contact lenses and glasses are common.

Very cool: We get a full vital statistics table, which includes maximum and minimum age, height and weight – love that these are included. The mephians’ home world is btw. unmarred by the dread blood space phenomenon. As an aside – the notes on their cuisine actually made me hungry. Lizard fillet marinated in chilli and spice, served atop rice and befswan, with popling beetles soaked in wine that are roasted until exoskeletons pop? Yes, please! (I actually have eaten grasshoppers and insect-protein burgers IRL – they are DELICIOUS.) Their leaders, btw.? They’re called “councilfolx” – I don’t know why, but that struck me as charming and very much fitting. All in all, it is this section, the culture and flavor that elevates the race to feeling unique and distinct.

Conclusion: Editing is very good on a rules-language level; on a formal level, there are quite a couple of uncharacteristic (near-)homophone/autocorrect glitches herein: “Gland” is referred to as “glade”, we have “tale” instead of “tail” and e.g. “taste of spell” instead of “taste of smell”; no deal breakers, but enough of them to be noticeable. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the artwork is nice. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Alexander Augunas’ mephians are a cool race – I really like the kind and community-minded skunk people, and there is some serious style to them. The fact that they make great envoys is, of course, particularly funny. All in all, this is a neat race; I’m not 100% blown away by them, but they are charming. As such, my final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars. If the typos bother you, round down. If you value cool flavor and a race that feels organic over the pdf not being perfect, round up instead. As a reviewer, I feel I have to round down on this one – the musk could have carried a bit more than what’s here.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Star Log.EM-063: Mephians
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Star Log.EM-068: Malborgoroth
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/22/2019 12:11:11

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This Star Log.EM-installment clocks in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

The pdf begins with a cool little query that makes clear that these entities are Tier-S threats to civilization, accounting for the massive slaughter two malborgoroths committed within mere hours – and it makes sense in SFRPG – where filtration systems and limited air supplies are the norm, an inability to deal with the superbly noxious gas these things emit…well, let’s say it doesn’t help survival. There is a small glitch, an “all” missing here, but other than this cosmetic hiccup, I couldn’t have asked for a cooler setting of the stage.

Malborgoroths, in case you missed the original pathfinder iteration, are basically Final Fantasy’s Morbols…but how have they been implemented in SFRPG? Well, they have a CR of 13 and are Huge aberrations with a stench aura that sickens targets on a failed DC 20 Fortitude-save for 3d4 rounds. (The DC has been increased 1 above the default of the combat array employed as part of the balancing of the creature.) They are unflankable, have regeneration 13 (bypassed by good weapons) and a pretty solid condition immunity list, plus neither poison, acid, nor death will affect them. And no, if you’ve been dealing with them the cheesy way in Final Fantasy, I’ll have to disappoint you – petrification won’t work either. (Nice Easter egg nod, I assume!)

On the plus-side, they’re slow – 20 ft. extraordinary flight with clumsy maneuverability will mean that it’s possible to outmaneuver them. I mentioned conscious balancing decisions, and the malborgoroth ahs another one – they have tentacles and stingers, and stingers deal 1d12 less damage, but inject their poison. Okay, tentacles let them swallow whole (properly formatted, lacking a bite attack, they use tentacle damage to determine swallow whole damage), but the poison…oh boy. Let’s just say that reducing base damage size here was smart. They also can multiattack with both natural attacks, at the usual -6 to atk penalty.

The signature breath weapon is a 30-ft. cone, Fort DC), and it’s brutal: It can be used every 1d4 rounds. On a failed save, the creature rolls 1 + the number failed the save by d8s and gains the associated effect – which lasts 13 rounds unless noted otherwise. A table covers these effects – if you’re lucky, you only end up deafened, but poison, confusion, being flat-footed and off-target, baleful polymorph’d or flesh to stone’d is possible. Worse, if already affected, the breath builds! Baleful polymorph penalties increase and can become permanent (!!); similarly, the conditions can become permanent; those flat-footed can fall asleep and may be awoken, but here’s the catch – not by the malborgoroth’s attacks! Oh boy, this is evil. I love it. The poison, by the way? Track Constitution, 2 consecutive saves and 5d6 acid damage for 6 rounds. OUCH.

On a lore side, the pdf also does something clever – it makes these things agents of the Great Old Ones, and implies that flumphs were corrupted into becoming, well, these horrors! 4 variant malborgoroth types are also included – frigid ones get DR, can encase targets in ice and their poison deals cold damage; mindscream malborgoroths get command and feeblemind breath attack stuff, and synaptic pulse or mind thrust IV via poison. Plasmic malborgoroths cause burning 5d6 E& F, but are vulnerable to cold damage and good weapons to pay for the superior damage type. Finally, the temporal malborgoroth can use baleful alter age (6th level version, see Star Log.EM: Temporal Things), are constantly under haste and slow those that fail the save versus their aura.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting re very good on a rules language level, and almost as good on a formal level. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the pdf has a neat artwork. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Alexander Augunas’ SFRPG-version of these critters is not just a conversion – it is a reimagination of the great creature, and the malborgorths presented herein are pretty damn cool. There is one thing that these deadly beings lack that render them more manageable for players, one huge Achilles heel – no ranged attacks. In SFRPG in particular, this, paired with their slow and clumsy movement, makes them sitting ducks if the PCs play their cards right. In open areas, they are simply less potent. A less powerful ranged attack would have been nice to see – perhaps one a couple of CRs below the usual damage value? Don’t get me wrong, I totally get the design decision – there’s no ranged attack to balance the potency of the breath and poison, but it makes them less frightening. That being said, I still wholeheartedly recommend these deadly threats! My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Star Log.EM-068: Malborgoroth
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Starfarer Adversaries DELUXE: Drider
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/19/2019 16:10:57

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This extra-large installment of the Starfarer Adversaries-series clocks in at 18 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, so let’s take a look!

So, this supplement begins with giving us a basic rundown of drider tactics, which also introduces us to a cool notion, the FiendWebs, a kind of horrific industrial spider-themed hellscape that acts as a hub for the dread empire of Akkanar – like it!

The supplement contains two different types of gear – the shock glaives (S & E) powered weapons with the block and reach special property and scaling Arc critical effects, and Fire damage microwave pistols – the beamer pistols – iterations for levels 5, 10, 15 and 20 are provided. The pdf does explicitly state that it uses the damage values of array and CR, and not the one based on the weapon – this is in contrast to how NPCs are handled in the Alien Archive, but is no oversight here, but a conscious deviation. Whether or not you like that is a question of personal taste and will not feature in my final verdict.

The drider statblocks within range in CRs from 5 to 20, with one statblock for each of the 15 levels provided, and are aberrations with the elf subtype. Slightly odd – while the immunity to sleep is retained, the +2 racial bonus to saves against enchantment spells and effects that would usually be bestowed by an application of the elf subtype graft has been left out of the statblocks. Also odd: The elf subtype graft notes that most creatures should get Perception as a master skill, another component that the driders do not receive. In spite of being made of drow stock, driders as presented herein also lack the light blindness weakness, which struck me as odd. Personally, I think that all those things would have made the statblocks more interesting, but that may be me. While we’re on the subject of some oddities: Initiative lines in the first 3 statblocks tend to read “+X mod.” instead of the proper “+x.”

On the plus side, the benefits of the aberration graft have been consistently applied. Driders use underized weapons for their Large size, but may use 2-handed Medium-sized weapons in one hand due to their mass and legs. All driders also can smoothly and swiftly move through webbing and generate titanium ally cable-strength webbing, which they may use to have their ranged weapons behave as though they had a grappler, which is a pretty cool angle. That is, I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be “taking an action”, not “talking an action” – funniest typo I’ve seen all day. Drider poison uses Strength as progression track, with CR 9 being the first that requires two consecutive saves to cure. Frequency remains locked as 1/round for 6 rounds, and driders have climb speed equal to land speed, with the Cr 12 one being the first with supernatural flight, courtesy of equipment. Driders get SR of 11 + CR, have the create darkness offensive supernatural ability, and all builds use the high attack value for melee, the low one for ranged attacks. The builds do not gain multiattack, but do benefit from an array of different SPs. The damage type indicator of the bite attacks is consistently missing from all of the statblocks – probably should be P. All of the builds herein are based on each other, so don’t expect to see serious variation in the base chassis – all use the combatant array as a foundation and build from there. This is a bit of a lost chance.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are good on a formal and rules-language level and the statblock integrity is high, if not perfect. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, with a nice artwork by Jacob Blackmon. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience, which is a nice plus.

Owen K.C. Stephens’ driders are nifty and potent – these fellows can be dangerous, but I ultimately couldn’t help but feel that they could have offered a bit more in the sense of diversity. Sure, it’s nice to get this many driders, but personally, I’d have preferred less of them and instead ones that are more different. I’d also have enjoyed a more stringent application of drow traits, but this is a matter of taste – do you picture them as more drow-y or as more strongly defined by their aberrant side?

As a whole, I consider this a solid, if not mind-blowing supplement – pretty much the definition of a solid offering, slightly on the positive side of things. My final verdict will clock in at 3.5 stars, though I don’t feel I can round up here.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Starfarer Adversaries DELUXE: Drider
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Star Log.EM-062: Uramae
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/18/2019 03:47:03

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Star Log.EM-series clocks in at 9 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

So, on the introductory page, we get a proper uramae subtype graft, as well as mummy rot as a special disease codified within SFRPG’s system – and a feat: Uramae of 5th level and a certain heritage can take that feat and sped 1 Resolve point to infect foes hit with unarmed strikes with mummy rot; this is balanced by a single opponent succeeding on the save being immune to this for 24 hours. This is relevant, because the mummy rot DC scales based on half class level and key ability modifier.

Uramae in the Xa-Osoro system hail from the dead world of Uramesh, and actually are the deoxyian’s progenitor race. They get 4 Hit Points, +2 Con and Int, -2 Dex, are Medium, and have a touch of Spock in them – 1/day, an uramae can take 10 on a d20 roll or “chekc”[sic!], except ones that automatically fail on a natural 1; additionally, they get a +1 racial bonus to a check when taking 11 – essentially, they take 11 instead, which is clever. Uramae are fast – they have a speed of 40 feet and get an extraordinary fly speed with average maneuverability – however, this is thankfully balanced by needing to end movement on ground or fall – they basically can hover-jump short distances. Cool! Additionally, uramae belong to one of two ethnic groups.

The first of these would be the mumiyah – these count as both humanoids and undead, whichever is worse, but are immune to negative energy and get +1 to Fortitude saving throws vs. disease, exhaustion, fatigue, mind-affecting effects, paralysis, sleep effects, and stunning. They count as living for what can affect them, and this ethnicity can take aforementioned feat. They may also be brought back to life.

The second caste, the wsjr, gains Great Fortitude, iron Will, or Lightning Reflexes or Toughness at 1st level, and may take these feats as replacement class features at 4th, 6th, 12th and 18th level. Wsjr also gain +1 skill rank at first level and every level thereafter. Really cool: We do get full racial notes that include “If you’re an Uaramae…” and “Others probably…”-sections – kudos for their inclusion!

Uramae lay eggs, as the notes on their life cycle make clear, and speaking of which – we get proper tables for their life cycle, codifying age categories, height and weight – here, the races goes one step beyond SFRPG’s standard, which I wholeheartedly approve of. The Uramae are a race defined in part by calamity – after the schism that split their race into the uramae and the deoxyians, the planet basically slew their home world – and now, in domes cities, the forces of necromancy and means to maintain the scarce resources are all that keeps the race from extinction. Suffice to say, uramae are not particularly fond of their genetic-engineering brethren.

The living wsjr, as a consequence, are actually today the minority of the species, which can be a very interesting twist for the society. Furthermore, there is an interesting further schism – while some could argue that the deoxyians are mutating, evolving at the cost of everything around them, the same can’t be said for the uramae, who believe that their society, a concept they think of as a living entity, reached its pinnacle thousands of years ago. This streak of conservative ideology, paired with a focus on logic, has been thought through in an interesting manner – essentially, the wsjr are a valuable commodity for the mumiyah; treasured and yet, as the wsjr contend, treated as children, as pets. Combined with the unchanging nature of undead, we have a great mirror-image of the sprawling, mutating evolution of deoxyians – a society defined in a way by unchanging stagnation, and yet one that requires the living beings that desire change to maintain its very existence. This is a great basic conundrum and offers plenty of roleplaying potential, particularly if more than one PC is an uramae – one mumiyah and one wsjr certainly make for a great dynamic all on their own.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are very good on a rules-language level, .and good on a formal level. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and we get artworks for both ethnicities of uramae, which is cool. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Alexander Augunas and John Laffan paint a compelling picture of a race split it twain twice – once in the distant past, and, ironically, once by the very structure on which their conservative society is based. I really loved the unique psychological angles explored here, and the clash of themes and how they are explored – the uramae are an interesting race that features sufficient intriguing flavor to make them unique and compelling to play. My one complaint here would be that more information on the cataclysms that wrecked the race, and how it influenced their social order, would have been awesome. My final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded down for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Star Log.EM-062: Uramae
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Writing With Style: An Editor's Advice for RPG Writers
by Sensible C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/12/2019 02:58:06

I've been on wiki and fan sites for the last six months or so, and after I summoned the Demon Prince of Apathy, paid homage to H. P. Lovecraft's amateur style, then admitted to Cthulhu that sanity is for the weak, I promised the Internet I would improve my craft. I purchased three classes from the great courses, which were informative, but each took twelve hours a piece to get their message drilled into my soul. In a short span of forty five pages, Ray Vallese summed up those courses and threw in industry pointers, such as cliche words to avoid, over used words, and suggestions on the use of pronouns. I wish I had bought this before the great courses {I got this on sale for $2 or so}, dived right in to my work, and worried about the rest later.

I recommend this product to anyone that wants to take their words seriously. My pilgriwizard to the dark side is complete!

Thanks Ray!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Writing With Style: An Editor's Advice for RPG Writers
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Starfarer Adversaries: Invader War Machine
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/11/2019 13:03:50

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Starfarer Adversaries-series clocks in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

Okay, so first thing – the invaders are not classified or codified, leaving them a mystery for the GM, which is a nice plus. It should also be noted that the builds make use of material from Starfarer’s Companion, but, as a huge plus, don’t require the use of the book – the special ability of the war machines referencing a spell has all relevant effects stated.

The invader war-machines within come in three classes: At CR 6, at CR 10 and at CR 14. From low to high CR, we have the scout-class, the assault class and the destroyer class. The builds use the combatant array. The war machines are technological constructs, and the latter two have a special ability invested to increase their saves by +1. The destroyer class’s base kick attack is off by 1 unless I’m sorely mistaken; it should be +25. The machines also seem to have counted Perception as a good skill granted by the array, when Perception is bestowed generally as a free good skill; consider that these are machines, I can get behind the choice to make the skill count towards the skill maximum here. I am a bit puzzled that all of the war machine’s attacks use the low attack column’s value as a base, though. Multiattack options have been properly implemented.

On a nice side, the critters do include unique signature abilities, namely the option to grab targets and stuff them into a prisoner cage – escape from these is properly noted (though “full-round” as a duration for attempted checks should probably instead refer to “full action”); prisoners may be used by the war machines as a kind of living battery, affecting them with vampiric touch – this would be aforementioned spell, and the effects, namely negative energy damage and healing of the war machines, are covered properly. The destroyer class war machine also emits toxic clouds as a reaction, which can nauseate those nearby when they have consumed 4 CR or more. This can be a tad bit wonky. Nice: A Small sidebar provides some suggestions for default prisoners.

It should be noted that the artwork comes in a one-page, handout-style version – neat!

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are good, bordering on very good on a formal and rules-language level. Layout adheres to a two-column full-color standard, and the pdf has a kickass, original piece of artwork. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Jacob E. Blackmon shows that he can not only draw cool artworks, he can also design some nice critters. The invader war machines are interesting and solid – not exactly world-shaking, sure, but they are fun and a nice addition if you need some nasty technological harvesters for your Mass Effect style invasion or similar storylines. Considering the low and fair price-point, I consider this to be worth checking out. My final verdict will clock in at 3.5 stars, rounded down.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Starfarer Adversaries: Invader War Machine
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Star Log.EM-061: Zoomer Options
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/10/2019 06:07:00

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This Star Log.EM-installment clocks in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

This being an expansion for the Zoomer base class, I obviously assume familiarity with the class in this review.

After a brief bit of contextualizing the zoomer, we dive right in with new zoomer stunts. The pdf presents 8 different ones that may be taken at 2nd level. The first one is already pretty interesting in its execution – it halves the time required to take 20, and allows you to execute skill checks that require 2+ rounds in half the time. This may not sound like much, but it can mean the difference between death and survival. Extra kudos: The stunt accounts for social skills – since they are contingent on talking and not supernaturally quick thinking, these are exempt. Agile charge allows you to charge through difficult terrain, and also makes the target of your charge lose eligibility to an AoO when you charge it.

Broken Delay is anything but – it is a genuinely cool trick that’ll make the zoomer feel more novel: When you delay, you may do so at any point during your turn, even after taking actions. If you come out of delay, you only have the remaining actions upon going into delay. This is kept in check by requiring a rest of Resolve Point expenditure to use it again. This one imho warrants getting the pdf all on its own. Devastating momentum adds ½ class level to the damage output of your small arms or operative weapons when using a move action or charging as a full action. When firing a weapon in a vehicle chase, you roll twice and use the better result, providing the vehicle moved its speed or more. Cool! Fast fingers lets you grab or retrieve unattended or stowed/stored items as a swift action. You can’t do so if it would usually require a standard action or more, and it requires having the Quick Draw feat nice. (As an aside: There is a stunt that, bingo, nets you Quick Draw.)

Lock and load lets you reload a small arms or melee weapon with the operative and powered special properties as part of moving your speed – once more, you can’t do so if this would take longer than a standard action. Smooth piloting reduces your vessel-based Piloting penalty if moving at full speed; and yes, this has star ship relevant repercussions accounted for as well!

At 8th level, we have 7 more stunts for the zoomer: Confounding speed. When you move at least 10 feet and attack a target, the opponent must succeed on a Perception check; on a failure, they become flat-footed against all of the zoomer’s attacks until next turn. This also has extra benefits for vehicles and star ships! Now, as a minor nitpick, the stunt does not specify a DC here, which means you default to the default DCs – this is not bad, mind you, as the DCs are pretty sensible and reflect well the intention of the stunt, but explicitly stating such would have prevented less rules-savvy individuals being puzzled there for a second – to make that clear, this does not make you invisible or anything, but it makes skirmishing much more viable..

Gust lets you leave a blast of water or wind in your wake when charging , running or withdrawing – this can render targets prone or off-kilter (in zero-G) on a failed Reflex save. The stunt costs 1 Resolve Point, and being extraordinary, does not conjure forth water or air, as such being contingent on environmental factors. Maneuvering charge lets you combo charges with a maneuver chosen via Improved Combat Maneuver, and it has grapple synergy, which is nice. Minor nitpick: This should specify that it has Improved Combat Maneuver as a prerequisite, otherwise it doesn’t do jack RAW. A synergy with the racing attack class feature would have been prudent here as well, as that one doesn’t require the feat. Reactive dodge lets you use your reaction for a +4 dodge bonus to AC, but renders you off-target. Nice. Run for cover is not only one of my favorite Project Pitchfork tracks, it also allows you to move zoom dash distance as a reaction to move out of AoE effects, which is great – however, you better know your distances, for if you still end up in it, you incur a penalty to Reflex saves. I love this, as it emphasizes PLAYER skill over character skill. Parquor has rules for charging through blocked or movement slowing places and creatures – cool!

Temporal recall requires a rest and Resolve expenditure to use again, but oh boy. It lets you chronically affix your position and condition, and then, for 3 rounds, you may recall that state as a reaction. This is very strong, but also absolutely brilliant and super-exciting regarding what you can do with it. Love it!

The pdf also offers 4 stunts that are unlocked at level 14 for the taking: Accelerated analysis lets you either roll a d20 twice and take the higher result, or reroll a check, depending on whether you pay the Resolve cost before or after you roll. Love it! (And yep, this requires accelerated acumen.) Bamboozling speed builds on confounding speed and makes it apply to all targets threatened during movement, which is brutal, but also very much iconic. Blinding speed also builds on confounding speed and requires 1 Resolve Point to use, but adds the insult of being blinded to the injury of being flat-footed or off-kilter. It also explicitly allows you to hide in conjunction with the stunt – and yep, at this level, this type of stratagem is well-placed. Splintered time, finally, expands the iconic broken delay ability mentioned before. This one lets you spend Resolve Points when coming out of delay to regain actions – the costs are steep and a bit nova-y, but the tricks you can pull off with this? Oh yeah!

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are top-notch on a formal and rules-language level – apart from one talent not listing an obvious prerequisite as a courtesy to players with limited system mastery, I am bereft of stuff to truly complain about. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the pdf comes with a nice artwork. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this point.

David N. Ross doesn’t hit one homerun, to speak in a baseball-metaphor, but a whole series of them as far as I’m concerned. This is a true must-own supplement for anyone wishing to play a speedster class. The potent, but sensible options for the zoomer class ooze awesomeness on every turn; from emphasizing player agenda to actually presenting meaningful skirmishing tricks and means to influence action economy, this humble pdf exemplifies how damn awesome a small expansion for a class can potentially be. I liked the zoomer before – now, I love it. 5 stars, seal of approval, and this is a candidate for my Top Ten of 2019. Seriously, if you’ve been on the fence about the zoomer before, get the class, get this pdf, and start grinning. This is absolutely inspired!

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Star Log.EM-061: Zoomer Options
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Star Log.EM-060: Hacker Options
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/08/2019 10:58:56

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Star Log.EM-series clocks in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

All right, as often with the series, we begin with some notes on the ever-expanding lore of the Xa-Osoro system before we dive into the new mechanics – these would be three mechanic tricks, the first of which would be the 2nd level trick Glitch Item. As a standard action, you can upload a virus into a touched item, requiring a Computers check (DC based on 15 + 1.5 times the item’s level); carried items require a touch attack versus EAC. If you have wireless hack, you can do so at short range; on a success, the item gains the glitched condition for 1d4 rounds, +1 round for every point by which you exceeded the Computers check. Thankfully, there is a caveat that makes an item immune for 24 hours to the condition after targeting, preventing lockdown exploits. At 6th level, you can spend 1 Resolve Point to bypass this, attempting to target the item again.

But wait, was is that “glitched” condition? Items that are glitched don’t work properly. An item may make a Fortitude save at the start of each round to shake off the condition, using either its item level or the wearer/wielder’s Fortitude save, whichever is higher. On a failure, the item takes a penalty governed by item type, and an Engineering check can determine whether an item is glitching. Armor increases its armor check penalty and decreases maximum Dexterity bonus, while also imposing a negative speed adjustment. Augmentations can’t be activated or provide no benefits and same goes for computers or technological items. Vehicles lose access to special systems and become uncontrolled, though a pilot may attempt to counteract that with Piloting. Weapons take a -4 penalty to atk, save DCs of critical effects and special properties, if any. Interesting: This penalty doubles on natural 20s to determine critical hits – analog weapons are immune – nice catch! Tiny nitpick of a purely cosmetic nature – while it is apparent from context, archaic weapons should be exempt here as well; while most archaic weapons implicitly are analog as well, this RAW does not necessarily have to be the case. There is another component here that GMs should be aware of, namely that RAW, the combination of wireless hack and augmentations etc. allows for the targeting of potentially vital systems to maintain the life of targets – since wireless hack does not require line of sight, this may be relevant. Personally, I actually like this component for once, as it simply makes sense to me, and there is still a save. Still, it’s something to potentially bear in mind as a component that needs to be observed closely.

The pdf also features two 8th level mechanic tricks, both of which require the glitch item trick as a prerequisite. The first allows you to substitute inflicting the glitched condition for your regular critical effect, and the second is unique: When glitching weapons and exceeding the DC by 5 or more, you may cause the weapon if it misses by 5 or more to ricochet into a nearby creature instead. This accounts for the differences between melee and ranged weapons, and even AoE weapon effects properly, and as a reaction, you can spend 1 Resolve Point when using glitch item to improve the effects as per this trick. Interesting!

The rest of the pdf is taken up by the magelock spell, though one should probably instead call it “spells” – it is available for technomancers at spell levels 1 – 6, and lock out special abilities behind mental firewalls. This spell-group is very interesting, in that it allows you to prevent the use of anything from racial features to themes to spells or SPs. The unique component here would be that the pdf, for one, does account for class features that have a representation in the game world (such as drones), makes the level-based scaling matter, etc. – it also RAW does not eliminate prerequisite-used features or feats – the respective ability is locked down, but RAW, the follow-up abilities are not. While the respective and pretty detailed spell level notes seem feasible, a kneejerk reaction to this spell would be to consider it OP, but the option affected is random, UNLESS you have previously identified an ability of the target. In short: The power of this spell is utterly contingent on the PC’s roleplaying and how well they do their leg-work – and that is a design-paradigm I can get behind!

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are very good on a formal and rules language level, apart from a who’s/whose glitch, I noticed no hiccups. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the pdf has a nice artwork, penned in Jacob Blackmon’s signature style. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

Alexander Augunas and Sasha Hall provide a surprisingly fun and impactful Star log.EM this time around; if there is one thing to complain about here, then that would be that the concept and condition would have deserved a Star Log.DELUXE-sized installment to realize their full potential. As provided, this is a tantalizing glimpse of a cool mechanic, one that, while potent, is tied in a way I absolutely love to the notion of rewarding good roleplay, as opposed to simply providing numerical boosts. The fact that every very potent use herein is, to a degree, linked to doing the right investigative things is a big plus for me. As such, this does receive a final verdict of 5 stars. Can I haz moar?

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Star Log.EM-060: Hacker Options
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Occult Skill Guide: Restorative Ritual
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/03/2019 07:46:37

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This Occult Skill Guide installment clocks in at 19 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 15 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

All right, as you could glean from the title, we have another great ritual to employ in SFRPG here, one that uses the rock-solid ritual-engine featured in the ritual-centric installments of this series previously. It should be noted that this is a stand-alone pdf – this means that all rules for the ritual base-engine have been included within, and that justifications of why rituals work and similar advice to implement them in your game also features within. (With the success of Grimmerspace, it should also be noted that implementation of the ritual engine seems like a perfect fit for that setting, but that just as an aside.)

Anyhow, I’ve already talked in length about the potent ritual engine in previous reviews of the series, so if you need guidance there, please do take a look at my reviews of the other ritual files – I’d rather take an in-depth look at the new material than repeat myself here. Okay, so first thing you’ll notice, is that the ritual doesn’t exist in a vacuum: Instead, it features two new technological items, the first of which is something I couldn’t believe wasn’t part of the core book – the handheld biometric scanner, which is a level 2 item. It requires the target to wear a hospital gown or the like, and allows you to make Medicine or Life Science checks to determine whether the target suffers from afflictions (and if so, which ones), and also determine whether the target suffers from corruptions. This takes a minute, so plenty of time to start thinking about means to fool the scan. A big plus here would be the smart way in which the DC to discern the nature of an affliction or corruption scales – only the presence of something odd has a fixed DC. I like that, as it does not hamper with narrative angles, while still providing information and progress. Kudos for this smart design decision.

The second item is actually really inexpensive for its level 4 item-level, but this is explained by its massive unwieldiness – a stasis unit, with 200 bulk, isn’t something you’ll be carrying around. It can hold a single creature of size Large or Smaller in suspended animation, and the process of awakening or being placed in stasis takes 1 hour. For the target, one day passes per 10 standard years. While they prevent mental atrophy, muscular atrophy is an issue – oh, and guess what? There actually is a properly statted “disease” that requires a victim to engage in a therapy regimen to be allowed to save. I like this – it once more puts the story in charge and makes the rules seamlessly support narrative angles. It should also be noted that the mere presence of stasis-units allows you to potentially really emphasize the vastness of space. If you e.g. love the good old classic “The Forever War” and always considered things like drift engines and the like to be detrimental for your conception of how a scifi/space opera game should behave, well, there you go – one item and all the stories about the ginormous nature of this vast space you could craft from it.

The ritual (categorized as belonging to the mageologic ritual school) featured within this installment would be the level 3 Restore the Broken Body, which requires 3 hours to execute – for the components, we need a biometric scanner, a stasis unit and a tier 3 computer; as a reagent, we require scrap computer components, nourishment agar, a break enchantment, a remove affliction and a 4th-level mystic cure spell chip. To qualify for being restored, the target creature must either be alive, or have died no more than 6 hours prior to the ritual’s start – this rather strict time-line obviously has quite a lot of potential for emergent play, as PCs hustle to try to get their fallen comrade back to their ship/base in time. The backlash for this ritual is pretty lenient – it only sickens and exhausts the targets; the ceremony itself is also comparably simple: The target is first stripped of equipment except biotech and personal augmentations that are essential for survival. The target is then thoroughly sterilized via Medicine or Life Science. After that, a pint of blood is drained from the body and provided to the scanner hooked up to the computer. The target is then placed in the chamber holding the nourishment agar, which, as a whole, requires three checks, including one for Computers/Engineering. After that, the computer scans the restoration chamber, determines nature and extent of damage sustained, and uses an overlay of an extrapolated genetic blueprint and biometric reconstruction drones (BRDs – as a German, that made me lol; around here, that stands for “Bundesrepublik Deutschland”) perfectly reconstruct the target.

Their capabilities properly codify their available medicinal level and Medicine bonus, and the ritual entails a brilliantly codified if/then system for additional effects – as noted before, the ritual can restore the dead back to life, heal poisons and diseases or break curses etc.; it can also heal ability drain and restore missing systems/body parts – the latter actually provides a concise sequence of how the ritual prioritizes them. Really cool! Finally, there also is the means to reduce corruption point total, allowing for interaction with the amazing corruption engine, also featured in this series. This, however, is NOT what made me smile most about this book – it’s impressive, sure – but guess what? The failure effect this time around is frickin’ brilliant. Each ritualist, on a failure, has a 50% chance of being subjected to flesh to stone, and additionally, the BRDs (chuckles) have a 50% malfunction chance that will cause the target Hit Point damage and actually worsen diseases or poisons, and they cause ability drain and ruin systems in sequence instead. My one complaint here would be that it would have been smart to codify the BRDs as either tangible or nanites – leaving that up to the GM is smart, but could result in a brief bout of confusion. Under the pretense that they are nanite-like, we have a pretty cool scenario, wherein PCs wake up from e.g. a TPK on board of a ship, surrounded by petrified folks, only to start suffering from mysterious ailments – finding out what happens makes for a great angle tinted with body horror.

The ritual is supplemented with a brief legend and two sample encounter-implementations. As before, we receive copious advice regarding the creation of our own rituals, which is amazing.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are very good on a formal and rules language level – apart from a typo and the BRD-component, I noticed no hiccups. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the artworks provided by Jacob Blackmon are nice and lend a cohesive visual identity to the supplement. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Alexander Augunas is on a spree of knockout, awesome supplements with this series. I absolutely adore the Occult Skill Guides and what they represent. Not only do they emphasize the magical aspects of SFRPG, they do so in a manner that genuinely feels like magic that could exist in a space opera/scifi setting. Whether benevolent or horrific, this ritual allows for whole new angles, and allows a group to continue playing after suffering a TPK, which is always a plus. (So yeah, obviously a Mass Effect 2 plot-twist is very much in the cards with this!) All in all, I consider this and its vast potential to be well worth the low and fair asking price. My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval. (Seriously, if you even remotely like the idea of a more magical setting, or if you are as excited for Grimmerspace as I am, do yourself a favor and buy the whole product line now. It’s worth every cent.)

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Occult Skill Guide: Restorative Ritual
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Starfaring Species: Otyughs
by Jayson K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/26/2019 17:26:34

Holy dabbing Otyughs, DriveThru!

It's honestly cool to see a once-disgusting monstrous beast get a fresh new coat of paint, and even get new (and quirky) ecologies, feats, and variants. I would love to use a few Otyughs in my games.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Starfaring Species: Otyughs
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