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Cultures of Celmae: Dwarves 2e
by Cameron D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/19/2019 21:23:33

Dwarves will always be my first love for fantasy races - short, stocky, big beards, usually Scottish/North Country English accents, with a love for beer and axes - what is not to love? So when our friends over at Wayward Rogues Publishing asked us if we wanted to take a look at their new Cultes of Celmae: Dwarves 2e supplement, I was more than down - and just in time since I got my Pathfinder 2e stuff in today.

With new feats, racial heritages, as well as setting locations, deities and classes, Dwarves 2e packs so much into 14 pages and it leaves me wanting more. At some points the layout seems a little off, and some of the text options for titles blend into the page a bit too much, making it hard to see - but those are my only qualms. Acting both as an intro to Pathfinder 2e fan content and as the Shattered Skies setting that Wayward Rogues has developed, Dwarves 2e is a perfect little product to add to your Pathfinder library if you are looking to add something a little new.

Comics, Clerics, & Controllers d20 Roll: 18



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cultures of Celmae: Dwarves 2e
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Cultures of Celmae: Oyapok 2e
by Cameron D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/07/2019 18:46:46

I grew not far from a pond and a river, so I am all too familiar with the little critters that inspired this race which Robert so beautifully put together. One part river rat, one part muskrat, and one part otter, the Oyapok are my kind of race - nomadic waterfaring wanderers in search of the next hunt or their next cove to dock in. With excellent feats such as Tough Tail or Wash Pain Away, and fantastically engaging lore - Cultures of Celmae: Oyapok 2e is more than just a race supplement, going above and beyond in 11 pages that some race pieces struggle to do in more. Definitely worth the price, and you get so much more than just a race for Pathfinder - you get whole new roleplay opportunities and gateways.

Comics, Clerics, & Controllers d20 Roll: Nat 20



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cultures of Celmae: Oyapok 2e
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The Hunger from Below
by Cameron D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/05/2019 10:57:01

With elements pulled from various adventure-horror films like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, The Mummy, and others, The Hunger from Below perfectly meshes traditional dungeon crawl adventuring with an intense sense of urgency, suspense, and haste. Your players NEED to help the town, your players NEED to survive - it is a quest of NEED versus WANT, and that shows in the gameplay. If you want to give your players an intense challenge, something they will not forget, than consider using The Hunger From Below.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Hunger from Below
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Hellpriest
by BM M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/15/2019 13:53:17

I have picked up a few different hybrid classes from Wayward Rogues Publishing and most run the gamit from decent to great, however, this product was a huge let down. The abilities seem disparate and to me there lacks a truly unifying theme for the class and it's associated abilities (one of the main themes is summoning a spiked chain which is all well and good but how does this reflect a cleric/sorcerer hybrid). Also, I would have liked to see more thematic abilities based on one of the aspects of the class: pain.Somethig like this:

Pained Beneveloence (Ex): Your pain is clear for all to see. Your suffereing invokes pangs of guilt and a heedless need to assist you in the hopes of helping to alleviate your anguish. This grants the hellpriest a bonus equal to x to bluff and diplomacy checks.

Overall ... it seems a hodgepodge of abilities accept for the progression of the summoned spiked chain.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Hellpriest
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Creator Reply:
Sorry this missed the mark for you. Your suggestion for "Pained Benevolence" is quite good, though I am thinking a bonus to the Intimidate skill. Might be more appropriate. What else would you have liked to see more of? More alternate Class features tied to pain?
The Guide to the Cult of Shub-Niggurath
by Cameron D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/15/2019 09:10:50

Elisting a feeling of terror, dread, and primal fear, The Guide to the Cult of Shub-Niggurath is an excellent addition to any game that is looking to truly implant that sense of occult gore horror. With inspiration from Lovecraft, Hellraiser, Spawn and Hellboy, this supplement adds new gameplay mechanics that flesh out (pun intended) the utilization of the occult in RPGs. For instance, the Larvel Progenitor option for the Alchemist is both disgusting and interesting at the same time, a halfway point between Maggot from the X-Men, and Venom. Overall, definitely a need if you are looking to add a heaping pile of morbid to your game.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Guide to the Cult of Shub-Niggurath
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Revanchist Hybrid Class
by Cameron D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/10/2019 07:54:56

The Revanchist is a perfect merge of edgy action-adventure hero and noble paladin. It reminds me of many of those character tropes you see in various mediums; the Shield Hero, Drizzt Do'Urden, Zorro, and other heroes on the path of vengeance. However, while some characters who fall into this category can often become at odds with the party, Wayward Rogues has developed and built a hybrid class that allows for synergy and advanced roleplay options that go beyond Edgy McEdgelord and allow for a multi-dimensional player-character. Unless you want to to the Edgy McEdgelord routine - that is all up to you. Overall, I am more than prepared to roll up a Revanchist character when I get back into Pathfinder.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Revanchist Hybrid Class
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Mechromancer Core Class
by Cameron D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/22/2019 12:41:01

The Mechromancer class supplement does the perfect job it set out to do - to make YOU, the player, feel like a Gundam or Transformer or Jaeger or Titan - without compromising balance mechanics. With unique systems for building and developing your own mech, this supplement takes the potential of the Technomancer and beefs it up with some classic 80s and 90s anime/cartoon-inspired giant robot energy. For players who want to add a major cinematic feel to their games, but stll kep it easy to manuever with and inline enough with what the GM has in mind, then definitely snag yourself a copy of the Mechromancer.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mechromancer Core Class
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Cult of the Wendigo
by Cameron D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/17/2019 18:27:13

Cult of the Wendigo offers a unique take on the terrifying Native American myth - expanding the legends and stories that surround the monstrous flesh-eater into something greater than a simple entry in a bestiary. One part setting, one part quest book, and a whole hell of a lot of frigid Nordic horror, Cult is a must-have for anyone who wants a new kick in their game - whether they be in a frost-rimed mountain setting, where villagers are being stolen for grisly sacrifical rites to appease the wendigo, or to offer a new diety for a player to worship or bond with.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cult of the Wendigo
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Eldritch Artillerist Class
by Albert S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/29/2018 11:45:57

An interesting complementery class to Starfinder's solarian. Both are strong fighters with supernatural abilities, but while the solarian channels power from stars and specializes in melee, the artillerist channels the void and works best in ranged combat. This is so far the best-written class by Wayward Rogue Publishing, but still has quite a number of the usual weird sentences and confusing rule references.

Right at the beginning, the author seems to have forgotten that "key ability score" does not mean "important abilities". It is one particular ability used for calculating Resolve Points. So we don't know which one it is.

(FYI: I hate the font used in the headers. Very hard to read, especially the numbers. Also some headers are missing the level references or the colored background emphasis.)

Most class features depend upon the pact you choose at 1st level. More about these later, but first a few words about the non-optional stuff. Immunity to atmosphere/vacuum, tech-based surveillance, and the higher level tricks based around the ethereal plane and teleportation all seem to fit nicely with the "space warlock" concept. I really like Void's Gift as this is one of the few class features which actually work in starship combat. (Starship combat in Starfinder feels like a different game sometimes, with so many of the "normal" rules not being applicable. But I digress.) But the lie detection feature I do not get. It does not fit the class. What I really miss, on the other hand, is an ability that would help the class ignore that pesky rule about provoking AoOs every time you fire a gun.

Now let's see the fun stuff: there are five pacts to choose from. All give a different ranged weapon, roughly similar in strength to the solar weapon of the solarian class, and a bunch of optional powers. There are pretty strong themes here. One is about sonic effects. (Fun fact: there is no explicit rule in Starfinder about sonic weapons being useless in vacuum.) The second utilizes plants, the fourth fire and shapechanging, the fifth cold. I deliberately left out no. three, because I am somewhat baffled about it: this gives you the melee weapon of tentacles, which, though cool, does not IMO belong to this class. Adhering to the ranged fighter concept is my strong recommendation. Artillerist, remember?

Some powers give skill bonuses. These are so useless they might as well be ignored. Do I want a perform (sing) bonus or an attack that causes momentary unconsciousness on a failed fortitude save? Decisions, decisions... (not).

An overall problem is that there are sentences in the text everywhere that just don't make sense. Missing words, unprofessional rule references. Also, I may be too visual, but some powers just don't feel right. Can you grow a tree on a space station? Can you submerge a big pistol in a single dose of poison? Has the "creature" of the Dark Mother any chance of surviving one round? Still I think this class would play pretty well with minimal corrections. If only it read more professionally, I would have given it 5 stars.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Eldritch Artillerist Class
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Novafist
by Albert S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/29/2018 09:47:59

A cyborg warrior class for Starfinder. A pretty straightforward idea that could (in theory) fill the role of Pathfinder's barbarian, with some monk-ish features to boot. Unfortunately, delivery of the details is quite amateurish.

Right at the beginning, the author seems to have forgotten that "key ability score" does not mean "important abilities". It is one particular ability used for calculating Resolve Points. So we don't know which one it is.

(FYI: I hate the font used in the headers. Very hard to read, especially the numbers.)

It is not a mistake as such, but longarms proficiency seems inappropriate for a hand-to-hand specialist class.

Just like Pathfinder’s monk class, the novafist has an augmented unarmed damage that scales up with level. When compared with bludgeoning melee weapons of the same level we can see that it is slightly stronger at 1st level (1D8 vs assault hammer’s 1D6), same goes for 5th level (1D10 vs tactical maul’s 1D8). There is no increase at 10th level, and that is a mistake (comet hammer does 4D6, which is quite a difference compared to lower level weapons). Weakens at 15th level (3D12 vs elite maul’s 7D8), and ends up pitiful at 20th level (4D8 vs gravity well hammer’s 15D6). Granted, some of my examples have special abilities that might change the equation, but I still suggest recalibrating this whole feature.

Also, since the text mentions “tendril barbs”, why is the damage strictly bludgeoning? If the concept here is that the novafist can take anyone apart with bare hands (and I think it is), then the option of doing slashing or piercing damage would be nice.

Novafist uses two different point pools. The simpler one is called Durability. It reduces damage suffered or (at high levels) allows for a saving throw reroll. Since that is pretty much the entire thing, the point pool system seems unnecessary, and a “times per day” rule would be sufficient.

Nova Charges are more complicated. These symbolize fuel for your unique cyberware and are used to activate special attacks.

Meteor rush is a monk’s flurry kind of attack, but with a different system. There is only one attack roll, then a separate roll to calculate how many actual hits took place, and finally a reduced damage roll. For example, at 19th level this feature can do a maximum of 5D4 times 1D12 damage for the cost of 3 Nova charges (of a max. pool of 7). I just can’t help feeling this is needlessly overcomplicated, alien to the core mechanics of the game, and very hard to balance with other classes.

Some minor features excluded, this leaves the signature options of the class to look at: the Improved Augments. The class gets one of these unique cybernetic implants at every even level, starting at 4th. (BTW there are no class features related to standard cybernetic items. This might be worth exploring.)

Under the augment write-ups there are quite a lot of confusing details. A few examples follow.

Magnetic charge lets you pull the target towards you. But if it is a touch attack (it should be, but is it?), then you are already adjacent to the target. So it only makes sense if you first move away, then pull. Which brings up the question of the power’s duration. Or if it is a ranged attack (which defies logic, IMO), how is it delivered?

Kinetic barrier needs “something solid” to create the barrier. Basically you tear of the walls or somesuch (as I gather, anyway). What has it do with cybernetics at all? Some kind of collapsible tower shield implant would be much more in style.

Elemental augment gives you “acid, electricity or fire” damage type. Improved elemental augment gives “acid or cold”. Besides the fact that acid appears under both powers, elemental damage types are treated equally in Starfinder. It makes no sense that some of them should require two augments, while others only one.

Pulsar rocket makes a reference to the off-target condition that is really hard to understand. Such references to existing rules should be more accurate.

To sum it up, the general idea seems solid, but many details need to be either recalculated or rephrased.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Novafist
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Mechromancer Core Class
by Albert S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/26/2018 11:39:36

I don't think this class has a single original paragraph to it. Play a technomancer with the powered armor proficiency, and you practically have the same character. In Pathfinder terminology, the mechromancer would be a technomancer archetype with magic hacks swapped for a mech suit and upgrades. But 16 out of the 23 upgrades are actually magic hacks, copypasted from the Starfinder core book. And remaining are either built-in weapons or upgrades no different from what you can find in the core book, Chapter Equipment. With the exception of the suit size increase and maybe the charged tentacles upgrade you can in fact do better, as the core book has more and better fleshed out options.

(P.S. I checked: if you use an Ironclad Bulwark armor from Starfinder Armory, you can have tentacles installed too, or at least a pretty close equivalent melee weapon.)



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Mechromancer Core Class
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Venommancer
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/12/2018 05:13:52

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This hybrid class clocks in at 12 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

This review was requested by one of my patreons, to be undertaken at my leisure.

So, the venommancer is a hybrid of alchemist and kineticist and gets d8 HD, 4 + Int skills per level, proficiency with simple weapons plus bola, boomerang, flask thrower, needle glove, scorpion whip, shuriken, scythe, throwing syringe, wrist launcher and whip as well as light armor, but not with shields. They get ¾ BAB-progression, begin play with poison use and have good Fort- and Ref-saves.

In case you were wondering: Both throwing syringe and needle glove are new exotic weapons with the inject special property. These weapons may be filled with a liquid as a 1.minute process, as a standard action for characters with poison use. Other weapons can get this one for +50% costs. Both are pretty expensive (15 gp and 35 gp), so plan this when spending the 3d6 x 10 starting wealth.

The venommancer begins play with the special blend class feature, which translates to 3 + Intelligence (not properly capitalized) modifier doses of a fast acting poison that may not be hoarded. This poison is an injury poison with a 1 round onset, dealing 1d4 untyped damage for the venommancer’s Intelligence modifier rounds. A successful Fortitude saving throw versus DC 10 + ½ class level + Intelligence modifier negates the poison/flushes it out. The venommancer adds his level to Craft (alchemy) or Knowledge (nature), Heal and Survival to checks pertaining diseases or poisons. They can also use a standard action to identify a poison affecting a creature in reach. Finally, 1st level nets the toxins ability: the venommancer has cultivated 3 + Constitution modifier (once more, Constitution is not properly formatted…) diseases: As a standard action, the venommancer may exude a 5 ft.-radius cloud within 30 ft. of his current location. Targets in the cloud get a Con-governed Fort-save ( 10 + ½ class level + Constitution modifier, once more, attribute not properly formatted…) to negate. The cloud can be dissipated as a full-round action, and fire damage similarly can dissipate it. Unless thus dissipated, the cloud lasts class level rounds. The toxin has an onset of 1 day and causes 2 Dexterity damage per day, lasting until the target affected succeeds a save. The cloud has AC 10 and automatically fails saves.

At 2nd level, the venommancer gets the first virulence, with every even level thereafter, excluding the capstone, another virulence chosen. Virulences can be applied to toxins and special blends, but only 1 per such toxin/blend. Saving throw DCs are 10 + ½ class level + Intelligence modifier. There is a bit of a didactic improvement to be made here regarding nomenclature: It would have been easier for toxins to be referred directly, for special blends to be referenced directly. While the fluff text designates toxins as diseases, and special blends as poisons, the virulences apply their benefits generally…and accelerate disease becomes problematic. As a full-round action that provokes AoOs and may target a single being within 30 ft. – this target takes one day worth of disease effects…okay, so what about diseases with a quick progression? Full effects? Is there a save? I assume no, since the poison virulence does not the save DC, but I’m not sure. This problem extends to and is exacerbated in the accelerate poison virulence, which applies a poison’s remaining damage to a creature, with but a single save. This purges the poison, but can be a dragonslayer save or suck nonetheless. The issue regarding nomenclature also extends to some of the virulences – Adaptability makes the toxins apply to aberrations and undead. This is odd, since RAW, aberrations can be affected by poisons. Does this mean that toxins usually can’t affect aberrations? Why?? Substituting a toxin’s effect with that of diseases is interesting, and class level -4 bombs is also available, though this one lacks the minimum level prerequisite. RAW, it doesn’t work at 2nd or 4th level. The flawed rules-language also extends to a few very basic operations: Clumsiness blend, for example, makes the special blend deal 1 point of Dexterity damage instead of hit point damage. “You may take this virulence 1 additional time for every 4 venommancer levels you have. The damage stacks.” You’d usually use something like “every time you do, you increase the…” here instead. Anyway, there is a virulence talent that lets you fire a ranged touch attack as a standard action against a target affected by special blend or toxin, dealing 1d6 + half your Constitution modifier untyped damage. This blast may be enhanced by features that enhance the kinetic blast class feature. This is basically all the kineticist that’s in the class, and I don’t have to explain why this does not work, right?

Save or suck unconsciousness can also be found, and formatting is bad: Beyond the attributes I mentioned, there are instances of lower case skills, non-standard save DC-sequences, and ability that attempts splash damage and, while nominally functional, doesn’t seem to get how verbiage or splash damage usually work…you get the idea.

3rd level yields alchemical bonds: 1 + Con-modifier points are in this pool, and another one is gained for every 3 class levels. Once more, the verbiage here is needlessly convoluted and confusing. Expending one of these points renders the venommancer sickened. (Conditions are not italicized in PFRPG.) This condition lasts for a number of rounds equal to the points missing from the pool. These include immediate onset, purging diseases from targets (which also replenish limited use class features), suspend symptoms, etc. Forced onset has no range, and the ability fails to specify when the points replenish, if they do, and the class erroneously refers to the alchemical bond points as psychic. Unless otherwise noted, these are a standard action. Increase with Power lasts 1 round and does not specify otherwise. sigh The 5th level lets the venommancer poison a weapon as a swift action, and starting at 7th level, the class can poison weapons of allies within 30 ft.. Odd: RAW, neither line of sight, nor line of effect are required. Spread the plague does not note the level it’s gained, requiring that you default to the table – it’s 7th level, fyi. The venommancer may touch an ally and give the ally a dose of Toxin – I assume this expends a use. The ally, when hit, releases the toxin, and all within 5 ft. must save, with the DC reduced by 2. Why only allies? 9th level cuts the onset of poisons and diseases in half, and targets suffer the effects twice per round instead of once. Okay…when precisely during the round? No idea.

10th level nets poison immunity, 11th level at-will neutralize poison and remove disease and 13th level provides the option to poison a weapon when picking it up, or to inflict a poison via grappling. At ¾ BAB and sans enhancers, you will not be doing the latter. Class features are still not capitalized n PFRPG – I don’t get how you can still get that wrong. Anyhow, 15th level allows for the swift action expenditure of an alchemical bond point to force a reroll. 17th level nets a 10 ft. aura that inflicts 1d6 level? Why?) – this damage is recovered when a target leaves the aura and a target succeeding is immune against it. The aura may be suspended as a standard action for 1-minute increments. Wut? Okay, you’ll never want to sleep next to those guys.

19th level is interesting, making the venommancer no longer detect as a living creature, but makes her still perceivably via detect disease/poison. The capstone lets her use a use of special blend + toxins to create a 40-feet cylinder centered on the venommancer. This storm of venom causes 1d8 points of ability score damage (minimum 1) on a chosen ability score on a failed Ref-save, and increases its radius by 10 ft. each round. “Creatures that flee the cloud…” only take 1d4 until there are cleansed via spells, immersion in water, etc. See, this capstone, while not perfect, is actually kinda badass!

The pdf includes 8 new feats: +2 special blend uses, increase Toxin save DC by 1, increasing range or radius of the cloud…the like. There also is a feat that lets you poison weapons while drawing them, which is kinda odd regarding the action economy boosts of the class. It also requires a Sleight of Hand check – failing the check makes drawing and poisoning the weapon standard action, which renders this feat an all out bad idea. Spray the Wound has a good idea: When an ally damages a living enemy with a slashing or piercing weapon, you may use an AoO to throw poison in the wound. Thing is: The feat is geared towards directly throwing poison, and the class doesn’t get Throw Anything. Why can’t you use drawn throwing syringes with it? sigh Stinging Swarms is a teamwork feat that requires that you and your ally wield poisoned rapiers. Guess what’s not on the proficiency list of the class? Bingo. Frickin’ rapiers. The feat is also, beyond being super-circumstantial, wide open to abuse: As a full-round action, you make one attack. If you hit, allies may make an attack as an immediate action. “These attacks deal 1d6 points of damage to the enemy…” Damage type? That’s not how PFRPG works…and the enemy then gets a separate save versus each poison. That’s standard in PFRPG. However, failing even one save affects the target with the effects of ALL poisons. This is broken, doesn’t work, is super-circumstantial and a total mess. Don’t get me started on the attempt of a coordinated salvo of projectiles.

The pdf also includes an archetype for the venommancer, the psilocybinist, who replaces the toxin class feature with an inability to become addicted to drugs. The skill boosts granted by toxicologist are modified by more efficient drug creation and associated skill boosts. The alchemical bond is replaced with the option to bond with a d rug for 24 hours. Then, we get the psyching the dose ability: “When a psilocybinist takes a drug she is psychically bound to; she may choose which effects to be subject to. When a psilocybinist chooses not to take part in a specific effect of a drug, the psilocybinist may not choose to activate that effect later in the drug’s duration. In addition, she may ignore any penalties while using the bonded drug.”[sic!] This is the most wordy and confusing way ever to say “The psilocybinist may choose to ignore any penalties, negative conditions or ability score damage or drain caused by effects of the bonded drug.” At 7th level, penalties incurred by bonded drugs become alchemical bonuses instead.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are bad – neither on a formal level, nor on a rules-language level are they up to the standards of the 3pps of PFRPG. The class is barely functional as written, and then only with copious amounts of handwaving and GM interpretation. Layout adheres to 2 –column full-color standard and the pdf sports some nice full-color artworks. The pdf sports rudimentary bookmarks, which is nice. However, you can’t copy text from the pdf. This makes using the class supremely inconvenient and requires that you copy the abilities by hand to your character sheet. Big comfort detriment there.

Jarret Sigler’s venommancer is a cool idea – Scarecrow the class? Heck yes, neato!

However.

I don’t see anything kineticist-y within, apart from one ability that sucks and is only relevant for multiclass characters, so if you’re looking for kineticist-style tricks, look elsewhere. I like the idea of the class, and frustratingly, it gets the ideas almost right in many cases, but then falls flat on its face. Worse, even if you do manage to somehow use the class, it ends up being really weak, courtesy of a lack of means to bypass immunities. The class also shows copious amounts of instances that depict obvious ignorance of how PFRPG’s more complex rules-interactions work. In short, this feels like a class that was well-meant, but that fails pretty hard; like an Alpha, if you will. Personally, I wouldn’t touch it as written with a ten-foot-pole, but as a reviewer, I can at least applaud the notions that grant this one a distinct identity. As such, my final verdict will be 2 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Venommancer
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Omnilibertas: The City of Freedom
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/14/2018 03:23:46

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This supplement clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

The city of Omnilibertas (sometimes written as “OmniLibertas” or “OmniLiberatis” within, with no discernible reason for doing so – those two are just from the first column of text, mind you…) is the heart of the Republic of Unchained Helot, with the river Thadmuss neatly bisecting the city and acting as the central lifeblood of the place, bringing trade and new people to the place. The city, as its name implies, puts prime value of self-realization, fiercely celebrating individuality.

In a somewhat odd peculiarity regarding the prose, the quality is somewhat inconsistent and, in some paragraphs, becomes staccato-like. “The citizenry prepares for the Freedom games. The growing event brings people from all over the world within the borders of the city. The games change every four years. They are perhaps the only constant tradition with the city walls. That and the growing power of the prime minister.” Or: “The founding of OmniLiberatis was turbulent. Slaves seeking freedom found an old fortress. Tired, pursued, and scared. The hero Derrock Stockman led his people here.”

Now, don’t get me wrong – I don’t object to minimalist sentence structure, but the syntax is pretty repetitive and really hampers the reading flow in some instances.

This is particularly jarring, since it’s the only thing I can justifiably rate. Why? Well, while this is designated as a Pathfinder-product, it offers not even rudimentary information regarding the population, alignment or the like the city has. Its size is opaque and not defined – at all. We don’t get a settlement statblock. While there is a full-color map that would be nice, we get no player-friendly version, and colored overlays in various colors designate the different districts. However, we don’t know anything about how you become a citizen, the power brokers, etc. Even the system neutral versions of Village Backdrops released by Raging Swan Press offer infinitely more detail.

While citizenship seems to be something to aspire to, we get no idea how to actually gain this status, and this opaque nature really hampers, much to my chagrin, what would be an interesting place: Omnilibertas (or however this place is supposed to be called) notes unusual customs and laws that feature a rather libertine approach to morals and rules – and a direct opposition to the notion of ownership of other sentient beings can yield interesting consequences: Even children are not necessarily claimed as belonging to one couple, as that would imply ownership. The consequences and their development can make for compelling concepts to develop, particularly in a campaign setting, wherein morals are bound to be more conservative than in our world.

And indeed, with all the points of interest noted, the city offers quite a few intriguing places that makes it feel radically modern in many ways – even more modern than e.g. Andoran, and as such, there is a distinct feeling of a kind of Utopia to be found here, a notion only rarely explored in gaming. Interestingly, the points of interest do offer quite a few interesting glimpses into the city’s daily life. The issue, however, remains – while these tidbits are interesting, the city never really becomes alive, as its big frame, the stuff that is supposed to hold things together, that is supposed to contextualize this, simply is not there.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are bad – considering that this is very much a system neutral book sans rules-language and the like to screw up, it’s a bit appalling to note the numerous glitches and inconsistencies in these few pages. Layout adheres to a two-column full-color standard that is aesthetically pleasing, and the pdf sports nice, original artworks. The pdf has no bookmarks. Annoyingly, you can’t copy text from the pdf. If you want to prepare excerpts for your players or just get rid of the ton of typos, you’ll need to copy the text by hand, typing it as you go. If you do, you’ll become even more cognizant of the bad editing and flaws in the flow of the prose. Cartography would be nice, but the color-shaded overlays mar what would have been an aesthetically-pleasing map. There is no player-friendly version provided.

Jarrett Sigler’s “Omnilibertas” is an exercise in frustration for me. I really love the idea of a utopian metropolis, and the idea underlying this is neat, but the execution is lackluster, and the absence of settlement stats can be excused for settlements in modules, but not for sourcebooks, no matter how brief they may be. This has to stand up to supplements like those by Raging Swan Press, and this woefully falls short of this level in every conceivable way. This does have a ton of potential, and with a picky editor, this, even in its current state, could have been a solid introduction to the metropolis. As written, it alas falls short of what it could have been, of what the idea deserved. My final verdict can’t exceed 2 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Omnilibertas: The City of Freedom
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Hybrid Classes Vol.3: Heroes of Wonder
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/18/2018 06:26:43

An Endzeitgeist.com review

The third compilation of hybrid classes by Wayward Rogues Publishing clocks in at 69 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 64 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

This review was requested by my patreons, to be undertaken at my convenience.

Now, as before, this represents a compilation of previously released hybrid classes, with new content added. I have previously discussed most of these in excessive detail, so I’m going to point you towards my reviews of the individual classes, should you be interested in them. Otherwise, I’m going to focus on whether or not they have improved, and new content, if any.

All right, so the Empath still suffers from formatting glitches and aesthetic rules-language hiccups galore, but e.g. the issue of the courage sensitivity for flying charges for allies has been resolved – it now sports the proper activation action. On the downside, the desire sensitivity still doesn’t work properly. Layout also has cut the letters of a sentence almost in half. The horror sensitivity’s capstone now also has a proper range. The OP 1st-level ability of euphoria hasn’t been nerfed, though. The central mind’s collective-style mental communication is still problematic. The emotive master is not included in the pdf. All in all, a very minor improvement of the class; not nearly as much change as I’d have loved to see, though, and the pdf, alas, has not improved the formatting hiccups or the often wobbly rules-language.

The orphic’s table seems to indicate that the class gets a fifth attack, which is not how PFRPG handles iterative attacks. Dark Half’s verbiage still is somewhat ambiguous. The utterly broken first level ability of the Dream orphic discipline is still here. Similarly, faith is still wobbly. Lore is still broken due to being too dippable. The pain discipline’s 16th level ability is still broken and doesn’t work as written. The drow FCO is still broken. The class has, unfortunately, not improved at all – the orphic could have been a 5-star class with proper fine-tuning. Oh well.

The prodigy’s base spellcasting still references spells that RAW don’t exist. Knacks still fail to specify from which class. Obvious missed bolding, the problematic wunderkind ability. Dead levels are still here. Formatting hasn’t improved…you get the idea. Once more, a per se promising concept could have been elevated to being good or even great with a bit of work and care.

The wonderworker still does not gain Handle Animal, a required skill to teach her pet. Bonded object plus domain, or pet are the options for the base class feature. Not even the heritage references to previous spells included in the one sample combo-spell have been cleaned up. The meddlesome magician in the archetype chamber fails to note that it is an archetype for the wonderworker – it’s not the only archetype that does not note the like. The spells of the wonderworker include a horribly broken, limitless item-recharger. There is a spell that, flavorwise, makes animals erupt in a dizzying cascade from an object, drawing upon cartoon-visuals. The rules for escaping the predicament suffer from false formatting and from deviating how the like works in PFRPG. Good indicator of how sloppy this pdf is at times: The spell is called miracle object. Like the completely different spell on the very next page. Which allows you to duplicate a magic item. Sans limit on CL and power. That should scale. Sequester Ribbon is nice, making a magic item temporarily a suppressed, harmless ribbon that may be drawn and placed on slots, etc. Temporary Wand generates a temporary receptacle wand. There is a spell that makes a token that prevents creatures from being aggressive. Pretty sure I’ve seen it before.

Cool: There is a spell that provides a badge with charges to a target: The target may, as an immediate action, expend charges when targeted by an attack, gaining a 10% miss chance per charge. This is pretty cool; seems familiar, though.

All right, so far, we have covered the previously-released classes – unfortunately, these do not come with sufficient improvements, which is particularly for orphic and prodigy, a pity.

The pdf also contains two new classes, the first of which would be the Comedian, a combo of bard and witch who gains d8 HD, 6 + Int skills, proficiency with simple weapons plus longsword, rapier, sap, shortsword, shortbow and whip as well as light armor and shields (excluding tower shields). Comedians may cast their class spells, which scale up to 6th level, unimpeded in light armor and with shields. Comedian spells must have verbal components, and spellcasting is spontaneous and governed by Charisma. The class gets ¾ BAB-progression, as well as good Ref- and Will-saves. The comedian may use Perform (act, comedy, etc.) in conjunction with countersong (Nice!). He gets +1/2 class level to Spellcraft checks made to identify spells when targeted by them. (I assume this extends to being one target among an area of effect.) The comedian gets an untyped +1 bonus to Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Linguistics and Sense Motive, which further increases at 4th level and every 4 levels thereafter. This bonus also represents the number of edges at the begin of a verbal duel that the comedian receives. Considering how hard edges are usually to come by (requiring roleplaying etc.), this is most definitely overkill.

The class gets a variant of bardic performance, comedic performance, which may have audible or visual components. These include a scaling penalty on saves versus charm and fear effects as well as on attack and damage rolls. Fascinate and short-range nonlethal damage that scales (with negative conditions added) can also be found: The latter deserves being mentioned, for it does get rules-interaction right and prevents abuse of the high-level dazing. Kudos! Temporary condition alleviation, scaling Cha-based penalty and a sonic touch attack can also be found – and the latter is actually genuinely interesting, as it builds on previous performances, being more potent when targeting an opponent that has previously suffered from the comedian’s rhetoric barbs. There even is a high-level flurry or single target trick here that renders this one rather interesting. Gather crowd, making targets flat-footed (with an anti-abuse caveat), suggestion (italicization missing from spell-reference), soothing performance, inspire heroics…cool. Lame and rather disappointing: Song of discord has been rebranded “scandal” – without purging all references to the original ability. That’s just sloppy.

At 1st level, 2nd level, and every 2 levels thereafter, the comedian gains a heckle – basically, the witch hex-analogues of the class, which are governed by Charisma. Good news here: E.g. the charm heckle and the charm hex and cross-class interaction have been accounted for – kudos for catching that one! Indeed, in a positive, pleasant surprise, the heckles prevent abuse by combo’d comedian/witches, with such caveats included for every overlap. The heckles include fortune and misfortune, a rebranded cackle, using the nonlethal damage during the surprise round at the cost of a performance use, adding witch spells, a variant rebrand of the witch’s gas-negating trick…some nice ones. Problematic: “eating” spells on successful Will or Fort-saves show their origin as a cut-copy-pasted class ability, with the three heckles implying a linear ability-progression, when they should note each other as prerequisites. The major heckles are similar/identical to witch options as well.

Starting at 2nd level, the comedian may always act in a surprise round. At 5th level, the comedian may treat initiative as a natural 10 1/day, +1/day for every 6 levels thereafter. 20th level upgrades this to a natural 20. At 10th level, the comedian does not lose edges for being at an extreme disadvantage in verbal duels and may ask for +1 bias when using Sense Motive or automatically seed a bias discovered. 1/verbal duel, he may reassign one verbal duel skill to another tactic in which he didn’t assign skills. The original tactic becomes unprepared. The ventriloquist archetype replace comedic performance with puppet-based summoning. The spells at the back include cantrips for background soundtracks and canned laughter. Catchphrase nets you Signature Skill in “(Perform/comedy)” sigh and if you already have it, both Celebrity Discount AND Celebrity Perks, but only for one advantage in the next 24 hours. Not a fan – that’s two class exclusives for a paltry 2nd-level spell. Comic duo nets you a shadowy sidekick, which provides a +2 competence bonus to Perform and to saves to resist performances, masterpieces etc. – at 3rd level. Yeah, balance is a bit odd. Final punchline wants to do something cool: Affect targets of a performance with hideous laughter – I like such combos, simple though it may be.

You know, while certainly not perfect and rather redundant regarding heckles, this class does have a couple of nice angles. The minor combo-mechanic is something that could have been expanded further, and the verbal duel angle, while somewhat over the top, has also been executed in decent manner. Not a genius class, but one that I can see being fun for some.

The second new class herein would be the poacher. The poacher is a hybrid of unchained summoner and ranger and gets d8 HD, 4 + Int skills per level, proficiency with simple weapons and all ranged martial weapons + bolas, nets, lassos, mancatcher, whips and light armor. No spell failure in light armor. The class gets its own custom, pretty potent 6-level spell-list and spontaneous, Charisma-based spellcasting. Chassis-wise, we get ¾ BAB-progression and good Ref- and Will-saves. The class gets the “Draw Monster” extraordinary ability, which should be Sp, or at least, Su to account for level variables of the duplicated summon monster/nature’s ally spells, which btw. do scale. Fail. Poachers may study monsters for 10 minutes, getting an untyped +2 bonus on the type studied. To do so, they need to have a copy of a specific, mundane book ready. Speaking of items: There is a magic or technological item that can deploy traps, which is a good idea, but the rules presented for it make it opaque. There is a magical tripping bola, a mundane write-up for generic monster bait (which I did not like) and the +1 equivalent pelt-pelting special weapon quality, which allows for the sundering of natural armor, but also notes how such damage can be healed.

But back to the poacher: We also get track at first level, and the trap-lamp. This lamp can be used an infinite amount of times per day and may be used as a standard action with a “range increment” of 30 ft., but no maximum range noted. The lamp fires a ray, and a creature hit must make a Fort save versus DC 10 + ½ class level + poacher’s Charisma modifier – on a failure, they are sucked into the trap lamp. They can escape, and successful saves net a +2 bonus, but boy, the DC is WAY OP for a save-or-suck first level ability. Sure, the critters have a chance to escape and need to be negotiated/handled with, but the pdf fails to acknowledge the intricacies of these interactions. Oh, and guess what: Captured creatures can be KILLED INSTANTLY at the poacher’s choice when trapped. RAW NO SAVE. W-T-F. Sure, it can only carry creatures with HD equal to or less than the poacher, and only two times poacher level critters, but still. INFINITE INSTA-KILL RAYS. That are not even conjuration (teleportation) or the like. I'm only scratching the surface of the issues here.

Wanna hear something lulzy? At 2nd level, any creature summoned (not only those drawn!) get ¼ class level, minimum 1 evolution points! This is broken on so many levels, I am not going to dignify it but bothering to explain it. Oh, and 2nd level, we get basically a poacher’s pride creature that respawns in the trap lamp. You know, like a yellow…okay, I’m going to drop the pretense right now. This attempts to be a Pokémon class. 3rd level, 8th and every 5 levels thereafter yield favored terrains. 4th level makes creatures on the summon list not count towards the maximum. 4th level yields shield ally (12th the greater version), 5th and ever 5 thereafter a bonus feat. 6th, 12th and 19th level add more captured monsters (with evolutions), 8th level nets swift tracker, 9th evasion (16th improved evasion). 14th lets the lamp act as 1/day magnificent mansion. 20th level nets a variant of master hunter with a 1/day swift action draw monster added on top. No, the list of evolutions does not provide anything interesting/new. There are archetypes that replace the signature monster and evolution pool with an animal companion with a baked-in evolution pool, but retrained monsters gain no evolutions. Arcane Enslavers apply the chassis of the class to humanoids and are evil. Hellholders are basically the Hellraiser twist on that concept. Trophy Hunters grant themselves evolutions via fetishes, which is a cool idea; said fetishes take up item body slots, but lack concise rules and fail to take into account that different evolutions have different values, which should be reflected in slots and costs.

The feats allow you to choose what you draw when using your own bags of tricks (let me waste a feat on that…), +1 evolution point to ALL summoned monsters drawn with draw monster; electricity damage added to the lamp, +1 to CMB versus quadruped creatures (Yay?), +1 DC for spells targeting studied monster (double yay?), a ranger spell (verbiage super-confusing) and using a weaponized trap lamp.

…Oh dear…the poacher is horrible. Unbalanced, top-heavy, opaque. You know, you can say what you want about Kevin Glusing’s Mystical: Kingdom of Monsters; it’s not a perfect book. But oh boy does it blow this fellow to smithereens. The poacher is an overpowered mess. If you want Pokémon-PFRPG, get Mystical: Kingdom of Monsters.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting…haven’t improved much on a formal or rules-language level. The compilation inherits most of the issues of the previous files. That being said, the rules-language pertaining quite a few of the comedian’s more complex components actually intrigued me. Layout adheres to a nice two-column full-color standard and the pdf comes with great, original full-color artworks, as well as a few stock pieces thrown in. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience, though only to chapter/subchapter headers, not to individual feats, spells or archetypes. The book also sports a HUGE comfort detriment. You can’t highlight (or search) text within. Yep. Wanna play these? Well, you better like copying the content, for that’s the only way you’ll have the shorthand ready. Considering the vast amount of copied or slightly modified content within, which often barely manage to change the name of the ability of which they’re reskinned, I find this to be distasteful, to say the least.

Jarret Sigler, Robert Gresham, Aaron Hollingsowrth, Beth Breitmaier, Dave Breitmaier, and Margherita Tramontano, these authors have created hybrids within this tome that often deserved better than what they got in this compilation. Unlike the previous compilations in this series, the majority of the material herein has the spark of something unique and truly promising; particularly the Orphic and Prodigy, with a capable rules-developer, could have been 5-star hybrid classes. If you can live with formatting hiccups, the asinine inability to copy text and are willing to modify the rules along the lines I noted in my individual reviews of the classes, you’ll have fun with them. Empath and wonderworker are more problematic and less unique. The comedian has the glimmer of being on the cusp of becoming something unique; it has its issues, but with a bit more daring design and less scavenging from the parent classes, it could have been great. I mean it! It has potential and is my third favorite class in the book. The poacher just plain sucks and is the worst thing in the whole book.

Sooo, do you want this? Honestly? Probably no. Orphic and Prodigy may be worth checking out, and if the idea of the Comedian intrigues you and you don’t have these two already, then this may be worth a look. However, the lack of refinement since the original releases, the abundant verbiage and formatting hiccups, and the atrocious poacher, make it impossible for me to round up from my final verdict of 2.5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Hybrid Classes Vol.3: Heroes of Wonder
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Orphic Hybrid Class
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/10/2018 04:02:19

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This hybrid of psychic and barbarian clocks in at 15 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 10 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

The orphic gains d10 HD, 4 + Int skills per level, full BAB-progression, good Fort-saves and proficiency with simple and martial weapons, light and medium armor and shields, excluding tower shields. Starting at 4th level, they gain Charisma-based spontaneous spellcasting, drawn from the medium’s spell-list. They begin play with knacks (I assume drawn from the medium list as well.) and fast movement (+10 ft. movement while not wearing anything heavier than medium armor and not carrying a heavy load) as well as mindcasting and mindrage. Mindcasting allows the orphic to cast spells while mindraging, also allowing explicitly for defensive casting and concentration and overriding the issues that may spring from the emotion component.

Mindrage can be entered as a free action and may be maintained for 4 + Constitution modifier rounds per day, +2 per class level gained; temporary increases do not increase the rounds per day. While in mindrage, the orphic gains +4 Str and Con, +2 to Will-saves and -2 to AC so far, so good – bonus types make sense. While in a mindrage, an orphic may use skills and abilities that require concentration. Upon ending the mindrage, the orphic is fatigued, and it is treated as rage, bloodrage and soulrage for the purpose of feat prerequisites, etc. This can potentially result in somewhat weird situations regarding feat-choices and items – personally, I’d strongly suggest limiting that to the barbarian’s rage, unless you’re prepared to make some tough calls. The bonuses are increased to +6/+3…and provides a strong ability: Upon entering mindrage, the orphic may apply the effects of a 2nd level or lower spell with a range of ouch or personal to herself upon entering mindrage; if the duration is greater than 1 round, instead only lasts for the duration of the mindrage – this, however, thankfully still requires spell-slot expenditure. Potent, but the lack of cycling the trick and limited spell levels keep it in check. At 17th level, the orphic is no longer fatigued after mindraging, allowing for novaing spell/rage-cycling – at 17th level, that’s okay, though. The capstone upgrades the benefits to +8/+4 and removes the 2nd level or lower limiter of the mindrage.

2nd level yields uncanny dodge, 3rd level a phrenic pool with ½ class level + Cha-mod points. 4th level nets Logical Spell as a bonus feat, 5th improved uncanny dodge and 7th level provides DR 1/-. This DR increases by 1 at 10th level and every 3 levels thereafter. 14th level nets +4 to Will-saves while mindraging, which explicitly stacks with other bonuses.

6th level nets a phrenic amplification, with another gained every 3 levels thereafter. 12th level unlocks major amplifications.

Where’s the player agenda, you ask? Well, at first level, the orphic chooses a discipline, gaining a discipline power at 1st level, 4th level and every 4 levels thereafter. These powers may only be activated while mindraging and 7th level and every 3 levels thereafter up to 16th provide a spell dictated by the discipline chosen. Unless I have miscounted, we get a total of 9 disciplines for the class.

The first of these would be abomination, which nets dark half as a mindrage modification – this nets a bonus to damage caused with attacks. Minor complaint: You also can choose to inflict bleed damage with spells cast, which scales – while it is evident from the context that this only applies bto spells, the first mention of extra damage does not refer to spells, which makes this slightly harder to grasp than it should be. That being said, the ability is still clear and functional and thus gets a pass. It should be noted that this discipline eliminates the ability to use concentration-requiring tricks while mindraging – so yeah, this tweaks the base playing experience of the class! Nice one!

The discipline also features the option to applying certain spells while mindraging (minor complaint: This does not state that it’s gained as the 4th level discipline power), gaining chaotic resistance to a damage type (you roll a d% and check a small table) and high levels provide rolling twice, SR and finally, fusion with your dark half. The dream discipline has an interesting modification – you lose the AC penalty and become pretty much asleep while mindraging – which is interesting. I do have an issue with the base ability, though: Once per mindrage, you can completely negate any damage taken from a received hit. That’s insanely strong and could allow a level 1 character to negate a hit from a frickin’ deity. I strongly suggest taking a cue from 5e here and instead rolling a die with a scaling bonus, subtracting the damage rolled from that taken. 4th level yields better awareness, with 8th level providing either dream shield or thought shield II when mindraging. Higher levels yield Tiring/Exhausting Critical – minor complaint: The 16th level ability does not properly capitalize the reference to the feats…but the ability is interesting: Foes suffering from their effects are treated as asleep for the prpose of your spells etc. and you may phantasmal killer one such target per rage. The capstone yields illusion and fear immunity and subjective reality while mindraging. Apart from the problematic base ability, this is easily my favorite piece of crunch by Wayward Rogues Publishing so far – the visuals are strong, the theme is excellent and the abilities are mechanically interesting.

The faith discipline requires a deity to be chosen and 1st level nets “the ability to enhance your weapon as a paladin or warpriest.” – which is frankly confusing, for both classes have other abilities that deal with this concept – the orphic treats weapon attacks having either her or her deity’s alignment – that’s it. The reference to other classes muddles the rules-integrity here and should have been eliminated. 12th level provides the alignment-based qualities, with 16th level netting brilliant energy or ghost touch. Interesting: The class gets spontaneous conversion into cure and inflict spells, but may only convert one such spell per spell-level per day, only while mindraging, and they’re not treated as psychic spells, preventing abuse there. Furthermore, such a conversion nets a regain of 1 phrenic pool point. 8th level nets a +2 bonus to saves while mindraging, which increases by 1 for every 4 levels beyond 8th. At 12th level, 1/day, when reduced to below 0 hp, you can cast heal (italicization missing) on yourself as an immediate action. 16th level nets a prayer-based aura when mindraging and the capstone nets a DR based on your alignment. The wording here is slightly wonky, but functionality is retained.

The lore discipline nets Knowledge skills and Int-mod to atk, CMD and combat maneuver checks, which is bad overkill at 1st level and makes that one much too dippable – double attriute modifiers to attacks should always be treated VERY carefully and this disicplien thus disqualifies itself. 4th level nets the ability to regain a limited amount of phrenic pool points when using divination spells. 8th level nets studied combat at -3 levels, with the limit of one target per mindrage. Cool: While mindraging, you can, at higher levels, counter abilities based on written text and language. 16th level provides limited symbols and 20th level nets free use of spell-trigger and spell-completion items as well as immunity to language-dependent effects…or “written spells effects” – not sure what the latter means.

The pain discipline nets a cool ability: Use swift actions to further damage foes you damaged since the previous turn. Sufficient damage dealt nets regained phrenic pool points – and yes, the ability cannot be cheesed via bags of kittens! Higher levels yield Clarity of Pain and Exorcising Mutilation; 8th level nets lay on hands at -3 levels as well as mercies, but may only target yourself. Beyond that, reflexive damage for mind-probing. 16th level’s agonizing wound has an issue – it allows you to heap debuff conditions on foes, but suddenly references “uses of the ability” for better debuffs – the ability doesn’t have uses per se, though, making that aspect non-functional. The capstone nets immunity to nonlethal damage and pain as well as bonus damage on critical hits.

The Psychedelia discipline is once more very interesting – you “assume”[sic!] – I think that’s supposed to mean “take/ingest or assume a state akin to a drug” a drug upon entering mindrage, decreasing negative effects. Cool: Upon entering a mindrage, you can exude drugs you have at one point consumed; depending on ingestion methods, foes may the be affected by it. Higher levels yield nausea for foes that influence your mind; after that, we get poison/drug addiction immunity at 12th level and at 16th, a hallucinogenic aura. The capstone nets drug-based at-will spells (should be codified as SPs). The discipline may be weaker than others, but its theme and execution are creative and fun – like it!

The Rapport discipline nets basically a collective based on Cha. 4th level nets at-will share memory, 8th and 16th net teamwork feats and 12th level allows you to redistribute damage of those in the emotional bond collective, with a level-based limit. The capstone also nets the option to redistribute a condition. 16th level lets you share Int- or Cha-based skills with your bonded allies. The capstone lets you geas crited foes 1/day and makes the bond permanent, i.e. present even when not in a mindrage.

Self-perfection nets Cha-bonus to AC and CMD while unarmored and unencumbered and lets you regain phrenic pools points when successfully attempting Strength-, Dexterity- or Constitution-based skill checks, which also gain a bonus equal to Charisma-modifier, but only once per mindrage, preventing abuse. Cool: 8th level nets a pool of healing dice, which may also be employed at higher levels to negate afflictions – as an aside: In my own campaign, I used a similar engine as a benefit for the few survivors of Vorel’s Phage – and yes, the plague was MUCH more deadly in my game. I digress. 12th level nets evasion, which upgrades to improved evasion at 20th level and 16th level provides immunity to poisons and diseases. The capstone nets immunity to damage and drain to the physical attributes as well as SR.

Finally, tranquility modifies mindrage to instead provide a +4 bonus to one ability score of your choice, or +2 to two of your choice. Kudos: The ability gets the scaling and bonus distribution options for mindrage upgrades right. 4th level nets Peacemaker as a bonus feat as well as a fitting, expanded spell-list. 8th level nets calm emotions (italicization missing) as a 1/mindrage SP; 12th level nets you the ability to focus on a single foe, gaining bonuses to weapon attacks and damage rolls. 16th level nets immunity to fear and confusion and lets you suppress those effects with allies nearby or in telepathic contact with you. The capstone nets immunity to fear and emotion spells/effects and 1/day psychic asylum. The verbiage here is a bit clumsy.

The pdf concludes with favored class options for the core races, drow, aasimar and tieflings – these generally are okay, though e.g. the drow’s entry is broken: “Gain ¼ resist vs. mental control and fear effects.” – that is not Pathfinder rules-language. The dwarf gaining a full round of mindrage per FCO taken is also pretty strong in comparison.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are much better than what I am accustomed to seeing from Wayward Rogues Publishing – while there are a couple of missed italicizations etc., these issues are not as prominent as usual. The rules-language, for the most part, is intact – there are a couple of instances where a dev could have helped and some balance concerns here and there, but, as a whole, the class is functional. Layout adheres to Wayward Rogues Publishing’s nice two-column full-color standard and the pdf sports a couple of nice full-color artworks. We get basic bookmarks, which is nice…but be prepared for some teeth-gnashing in the comfort-department. Unlike any other 3pp I know of, you cannot highlight or copy text from the file, which means you will have to extract the information by hand, which sucks.

Margherita Tramontano delivers the best hybrid class by Wayward Rogues Publishing I have read so far. The orphic could have easily been an uninspired bloodrager knockoff; in fact, that’s what I kind of expected at first when reading the base chassis. Then, the class actually won me over. While linear, the disciplines allow for meaningful differentiation between orphics and ooze passion: They tackle complex concepts, sport really cool visuals and concepts (Sleepwalking mindrage? Sweating drugs? Come on, those are character concepts just waiting to happen!) and with a few exceptions, the execution is spot-on. I really, really like a lot this class does!

At the same time, the review-bot in me points out that the class does sport a couple of issues in its balancing, has a few components that can be abused...and ultimately, these shortcomings should make me rate this 3 stars. However, what works, and this is the majority of the class, mind you, is really, evocative, fun and shows both care and passion. None of the glitches really are gamebreakers that cannot be taken care of by a good GM. Fixing the few issues the class has is literally a task of 5 minutes for a competent designer.

Which brings me to my final verdict – I really wished that a picky developer or editor had ironed off the rough patches and snafus – the orphic has 5 star-potential and constitutes one of the hybrid classes that has its own identity and playstyle. With the flaws herein, some of which influencing rules-integrity and balance, I cannot go higher than 3.5 stars for this – consider the verdict here to be a conglomerate of 5 stars for the effort and concepts and 3 stars for the issues that haunt the pdf. If you are confident you can handle these hiccups, then give this a shot! The orphic is well worth taking a look at! Which is why, for the purpose of this platform, I will round up here, in spite of the comfort detriments.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Orphic Hybrid Class
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