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    The Scourge of the Scorn Lords
    by Florian H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/13/2021 15:04:20

    Originally published on diceadventurer

    The world: Scornlords is subtitled Meatlandia Book 3 and is thus part of a series. I have not dealt with the predecessors, according to the statement in the book, knowledge from books 1 and 2 is not necessary. However, here I have to say that I could not do anything or little with one or the other designation or with a few notes. Nevertheless, since Scornlords is very interesting to read, I’ll definitely take a look at the previous parts to get the bigger picture. The realm of the Scornlords is a peninsula, which is separated from the main continent by mountains and sea. In Meatlandia itself there is a storm of chaos, but it cannot harm the realm of the Scornlords, as they have a protective shield. The land is barren and marked by deserts, wastelands and canyons. The country is ruled by the seven Scornlords, superhuman beings who rule over life and death in their realm. Each Scornlord has its own territory with its own customs, rules and ideas. War is waged among one another, intrigues are forged and alliances are formed. Players will sooner or later get sucked into all of these things and have to see for themselves how they’re doing. In addition to humans, there are of course elves, dwarves and other well-known races, but the setting offers a lot more, such as the myrmeke. These huge, ant-like creatures live for their hive and tend to be more peaceful. I also find the fade very exciting, which have the property of simply disappearing from the perception and sometimes even the memory of others. Huge insects and dinosaurs are a common sight in the realm of the Scornlords and many animals are used as pack animals, a chariot pulled by raptors is completely normal. Bandits and robbers roam the wasteland, gladiators look for challenges, and cannibals hunt for their next meal. However, completely different beings and monsters also float around. My favourite are the barren elves, who don’t have any facial features. Only when they suck magic out of a victim do they temporarily take over their traits and can feel joy. That is exactly why they are always on the hunt. The Scourge of the Scornlords delivers an unbelievable amount of material, very beautiful and above all short descriptions and thus brings out the maximum of possibilities. The setting is very weird and wacky, you have to like that, but fans of a kind of Fantasy Mad Max get their money’s worth here.

    The game: The Scourge of the Scornlords is written for old-school essentials, but can basically be played with any OSR. Some new mechanics are introduced, such as hydration, sandstorms, psionics, and vehicles. So players definitely have to be careful that they and their animals drink regularly, otherwise the adventure will only be very short. New classes include the above-mentioned Fade and Myrmeke, as well as the Mentalist and the Monster Honcho. The mentalist uses psionic energy, the monster Honcho gathers a large herd of monsters and animals around him. The book is packed with random tables, be it for locations, NPCs, vehicles, giant insects, and of course, encounters. You can leave a lot to chance and then no two campaigns will be the same. The system with the vehicles was one of the things that appealed to me the most and it is very simple and elegant. In addition to an armour class, vehicles have hull points that normal weapons cannot reduce (spells do 1/4 of their actual damage). Instead, you can use catapults, ballistae and flamethrowers. The generator for vehicles is very extensive and the wildest carts come out of it.

    The book: The Scourge of the Scornlords is in English, is in black and white, and is just over 100 pages. It is easy to read, has a clear layout and impresses with its very coherent illustrations. Many entries in the bestiary have an illustration. The information about the Scornlords is very extensive, but also very well presented, so that you can quickly get an overview. In addition, there was an extra booklet for Backer with stats and information on various NPCs, vehicles and locations and a small pamphlet about being able to play The Scourge of the Scornlords solo. In the book, there are some possibilities for entries and for recording stats of the players, I would have liked these as a separate sheet. There are different character sheets to choose from, I would have liked a hand-painted version of the vehicle sheet so it matches with my favourite character sheet, but you cannot have everything.

    Who might be interested in The Scourge of the Scornlords:

    • Players and game masters who are looking for a slightly wacky setting
    • People who are fans of random tables
    • Players who want to roam the wasteland in their dinosaur-drawn cart

    Who might not be interested in The Scourge of the Scornlords:

    • Players and game masters who don’t like high mortality
    • People who don’t like sandboxes
    • Players who want to play heroic characters in an intact world


    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    The Scourge of the Scorn Lords
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    The Scourge of the Scorn Lords
    by Jean-François C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/08/2021 18:47:25

    Amazing product. Can´t wait to play and DM an adventure in the Scorn Lands and fight the Scorn Lords!!



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    The Scourge of the Scorn Lords
    by Adam M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/08/2021 17:13:42

    This is a book about how your characters are going to die in the desert, and exactly what sort of randomly generated giant insect, bizarre vehicle (say, an enormous seashell pulled by 1d4 triceratops and armed with a psionic cannon), or ancient magic-wielding wasteland overlord is going to be responsible for their demise. In about a hundred pages it offers a complete setting full of unique character classes, powerful enemies, factions, rumors, magic items, and table after table of unmitigated nonsense. Simply rolling up random villagers from the village generator tables made for a successful party game. Highly recommended for anyone who likes their b/x-style games wild and brutal.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    The Scourge of the Scorn Lords
    by Jonathan B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/08/2021 16:52:50

    Full disclosure I have never played a game of B/X in my life, hell I've only just got into ttrpgs just a few years ago after finnaly getting the courage to run a game for some strangers at a locat meetup. I was HOOKED! Then rona threw a big ol' stick in the world and it's been stay at home and buy cool looking stuff off Kickstarter(things are getting better here thankfully). And HOLY BEJESUS is this thing COOL! Think Mad Max but with Ray Harryhausen dinosaurs, probably some magic and a late 80's metal soundtrack!



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    The Chaos Gods Come to Meatlandia
    by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/19/2021 15:14:20

    I thought this was an adventure, but it is actually a mini-setting of Meatlandia and the opposing factions. There are meat mages (you really have to buy this to see them) and various types of bards (three in total). So new classes, new magic (15 pages of meat mage spells), a city, new monsters, new magic items, and just some gonzo-level weirdness. I have to say that it is not for everyone, BUT there is an audience that will absolutely love this. Has a solid Dungeon Crawl Classic meets Lamentations of the Flame Princes meets 80s weird horror. If it were a movie Roger Corman would have been the director or producer and Tom Savini would have starred and consulted on the monster effects. The whole thing is 90 pages long so you are getting a lot. Not sure where I am going to use it, but it really begs to be used somewhere. Retooled just a tiny bit could turn it from gonzo to some serious horror. That is the direction I am likely to go.



    Rating:
    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    The Chaos Gods Come to Meatlandia
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    Monsterarium
    by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/26/2021 12:37:28

    An Endzeitgeist.com review

    This bestiary clocks in at 27 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page introduction, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 21 pages of content, so let’s take a look! My review is based on the pdf; I don’t have the print version.

    This review was requested to be moved up in my reviewing queue by my supporters.

    Okay, so, the first thing you should know about this booklet would be that, yes, this is a bestiary, but it’s not a book of things designed to be hacked apart as throwaway monsters; this bestiary focuses on what I like calling “narrative monsters”, so creatures that have a more significant impact or that are intended to form the center of a narrative. The second thing would be art: Co-author Nahid Taheri has a truly unique style. Look at that cover. Each of the creatures herein has an illustration done in the same style, which I’d call uncanny and slightly creepy old fairy tale illustration. I like that style; it gives the book a genuinely unique visual identity and helped me retain my memory of these monsters. It’s been a long time since I first read this bestiary, and I still could recall every single critter herein.

    Now, on a less impressed level, it should be noted that this book does not actually subscribe to a specific OSR-system. You know what this means: We only get very basic stats, and depending on the old-school system you favor, you’ll need to do some adjusting. It also makes it more difficult, at least for me, to actually decide how hard a critter should hit. If I e.g. run a B/X-Old-School-Essentials critter in a retro game based on AD&D 2e, I know by how much I need to upgrade it; same goes in reverse for running e.g. an AD&D 2e critter is OSE, obviously. These “general” OSR supplements lack this frame. Some of my readers might shrug this off, while some will very much think that this does matter. Anyhow, each creature notes an alignment on the law-chaos axis, a movement (120 seems to be the default value), an ascending AC value, the number of HD, the number of attacks, the damage dealt, and a single save value, which uses a descending value. Each creature has its special attacks and/or weaknesses listed after their flavor text.

    Thematically, the creatures herein are partially original creations, and partially drawn from the rich and oftentimes untapped resource of Persian folklore, with which I share a particular fascination. That being said, the book does manage to maintain a sort of consistence in its themes and feeling I enjoyed. An old-school non-Disney fairy tale/folklore-esque angle suffuses the supplement.

    Okay, so, the pdf doesn’t start on its best foot with the Al, an invisible roughly female thing that hunts mothers and seeks to kill their newborn and steal their livers; their teeth can cause bleeding wounds, and interestingly, they will be hard to confront: They free sharp objects. This is a great creature, but the prose accompanying it, the description, felt rough. To give you an example: “Al appears as a tall and slender older woman with long and unbound rough black hair. It is naked though covered in very short fur. It has long fangs that reach past its chin. Its teeth act as blades that never dull or chip.” Now, thankfully, this somewhat staccato-like aspect does not extend throughout the pdf, but since it shows up on the first critter, I figured it’d be worth mentioning that the prose gets better.

    Cord legs are AWESOME. They appear as a person in need, and ask to be carried on the back; if they are, they wriggle their cord legs around the adventurer, and can quickly and efficiently kill those they are riding. The poor sods being ridden by a cord legs have Charisma 8, or -2 Charisma if less than 8. Okay, what if one has Charisma 8? No penalty? Hmmm. Carrying them around can permanently enhance your Strength if you get rid of them, which is codified. In spite of my nitpickery, I like these critters: They have the folklore angle, need to be outwitted, and there is something gorgeously grotesque about them.

    Ejdohogo is a plot device disguised as a weird dragon, wingless and plumed…and its tail has this classic trick, where, if all present fail to save against it, the next adventuring session will be bizarre and weird, and actually a completely illusory adventure. If the adventurers live through it, they awake dehydrated and starved with 1 hp. Okay. What effect does the tail have if NOT everyone fails the save? No clue, no rules or even suggestions are provided.

    Faux sirens are another puzzle boss of sorts: They actually are plants and have an ability that causes one random target to defend them – no save. Yep. Not even a save. I don’t like that, and think it’s essentially GM railroading. Not cool. And they have a siren’s call that lures targets to them, and while it notices that this is enough time to drown in bogs, the ability and generic OSR rules provide no frame of reference regarding whether this operates more akin to a charm or a dominate.

    Hair that had a human, on the other hand, is grotesque and amazing in all the right ways: Long locks of floating hair with a human face, the long locks concealing a child’s body. Oh, and they are FAST, can become even faster and if they catch you, it’s save or die! And that save or die? You only get it if you’re adult. Kids are screwed. Need a good folklore-ish horror critter? This one fits the bill and is actually one of the few times where I consider an instant-kill move suitable. Two big thumbs up!

    The lich queen…is weird. She has an entourage of zombies and skeletons and style galore, sure, and yes, she has not one, but two abilities that are save or die, but at a paltry 4 HD. I fail to see the appeal, and the two save or suck abilities are horribly lame. The one saving grace of this critter would be her hand-wand dependency: If she loses the wand, she casts “all her spells at half strength.” But she has no real spells. Just zombie/skeleton summoning and two instant-kill abilities sans rhyme or reason. Also, what does “half strength” mean? Do you only die half? This doesn’t work as written.

    Loot wyverns are cool: Little winged lizards that eat treasure that are good at surprising targets, and a good bite can consume silver/treasure. Their claws scar over with gold. AWESOME. How much is such a gold scar worth? No clue. This is frustrating, as the treasure-scar mechanic is cool…but it WILL be cheesed and could wreck entire economies, obviously…but it has a lot of potential. Does the scar reduce maximum hp? This BEGS for proper rules.

    Night hags take the shape of shadowy ravens in this interpretation, and lie down on the sleeping, stealing their sleep. They sport this intriguing section of text: “They might kill the person if no one is awake around, but they are not always interested in killing. They cannot rest, so often they steal sleep from humans in this manner.” Guess what we get no rules for? Bingo. For stealing sleep. For potentially killing the sleeping. Nothing. A perfect example of a cool, evocative critter tarnished by subpar design.

    Peri are little fey-ish creatures with butterfly like snorkels that can sing and duplicate anything they heard, including spells; they drain Constitution and grow, and take additional damage from iron weapons; they come in two castes of sorts, the lesser wingless and the greater winged peri. Keeja, the chief of the peri, is also included in the book’s second section, and can dine on the saving throws of adventurers, and use a dandelion puff that actually is quite lethal. Two thumbs up, though adherence to a system would have made this one work slightly better. The tremulous troll is the last troll in the world; she takes next to no damage from all attacks, and has 6 types of magic fungi with spell-like effects…but she fears blades, and she fears light even more, for it is the one thing that truly hurts her. An interesting NPC-style creature.

    The second part of the book is devoted to the creatures of the wood, and ties in, to a degree, with the aforementioned array: The first critter presented in this section would be the faun that s also depicted on the cover, lord of the peri and the wisps; he can alter memories of those it meets, and it can initiate raves, which may or may not tie in with Meatlandia Chaos DJs. Wisps, just fyi, are sentinet magic focused on a crystal set in a vial, and they increase in power by finding wisp stones, of which 6 are codified; an alternate, the wisp wizard, is also presented – these are pretty deadly, as one can imagine. They also want to get their hands on the torchbearer.

    Who is that? Well, this lady was once an adventurer, but had to witness her fellows being slain; now, she is a quasi-mystical being who might show up to those in need and lead them to safety, sate their hunger, or even grant them Wisdom! A really neat mystical ally. Flying goldenfish are also amazing: They, when consumed, can, for 24 hours, grant you significant boosts to your stats (but you can also lose maximum HP)…and you’ll incur the ire of denizens of an extra-dimensional town…and they may well send the AL after you!

    Harpy summoners are something rather different: Occupants of the Lajwardian mountains, these women left the realms of men behind to live free from the reign of men, and as such, they have the power to call harpies to defend them. Interesting flip of the traditional harpy mythology. The spate nymph is a creature of beauty; so much so that the apathetic lady causes those that witness her to forevermore lose Charisma…but her flying fish, if beseeched, can grant wishes. Keeja does hate her and wants her dead. And yes, there are more connections between the creatures than I’ve mentioned.

    Conclusion: Editing and formatting are…uneven. The supplement oscillates between sufficient precision and aggravating opaqueness, which is only partially due to not subscribing to a specific rules system. This phenomenon also extends to the prose. Layout adheres toa two-column full-color standard, and while the artwork of Nahid Taheri is most assuredly a matter of tastes, I really, really liked all these original full-color artworks. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience, and I can’t comment on the virtues or lack thereof of the print version.

    The Monsterarium of Ahimsa Kerp and Nahid Taheri left me torn like very few bestiaries over the years. To make that abundantly clear: Conceptually, I adore this booklet. It has a distinct identity, and not one of the creatures herein is boring or bland; even when the creatures make use of classic folklore tropes, they have an execution distinct from the defaults. In some creatures, this reminded me of how Alana I. Capria’s feminist twists on fairy tales, just in a less grotesque and gratuitous manner, so if you enjoy flips like that, this’ll be intriguing. Similarly, if you enjoy your monsters as creatures informed by folklore, then this has a lot to offer and contains some true gems.

    That being said, the decision to not properly adhere to a system hurts this book to a significant degree; in some instances, it breaks the functionality of the creatures and leaves the referee scratching their head of what was actually intended here. Combined with the inconsistent editing, this renders the bestiary a study in contrasts, and not in a good way.

    To make that abundantly clear: If you’re after concepts and ideas, then this should be considered to be a 5-star file; if you also want mechanical integrity of the creatures, then this pdf unfortunately loses a lot of its splendor, and does so without any actual need. If find myself wanting to slap my seal of approval on this, but I simply can’t; for that, this is too flawed a gem. Still, I do encourage you to take a look if the above even remotely intrigued you. My final verdict, though, can’t exceed 3.5 stars. And while I will round up, I do so for the concepts. If you want the rules to properly work so you can simply plug and play, then I suggest rounding down instead.

    Endzeitgeist out.



    Rating:
    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    Monsterarium
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    The Chaos Gods Come to Meatlandia-Vivimancer Edition
    by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/01/2019 09:46:38

    An Endzeitgeist.com review

    This campaign setting/toolkit clocks in at 83 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 1 page of ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 77 pages of content, laid out in approximately 6’’ by 9’’ (A5), so let’s take a look!

    The majority of this review, like the book, is identical with the review of the regular iteration of this book. The tl;dr-version would be that this is the mechanically-superior version of the book.

    Before we take a look at the content, there are two things of note: For one, I am very ambivalent about this product, so I advise you to read the entirety of the review. This one will be either a hit or a miss for you, depending on your priorities. Secondly, I have based my review on both the pdf-version of this supplement and the PoD softcover I purchased on OBS. The softcover has the book’s name on the spine and is solid, if slightly less impressive than the hardcover PoD-version of the regular edition of the book.

    The next thing you ought to know, is that this is pretty much a blending of player-centric book and GM/referee-material, but that its organization does not reflect that particularly well. We begin, for example, with the general introduction of the campaign setting (prefaced by the classic and amazing “The Conqueror Worm” by good ole’ Poe, which could be seen as a leitmotif) before we dive into the player-centric material. This is somewhat unfortunate, as you can’t simply hand the book to players and tell them “Read only this far.” Instead, you’ll have to curate the content before using it, which is a bit of an unfortunate decision as far as I’m concerned. I don’t like it when my players know the stats of the movers and shakers of a campaign setting. That being said, the vivimancer edition does offer some definite improvements to the usability of the content within – for example, we now do get tables for prices of the individual items, which makes it much more comfortable to use for the referee.

    The second unfortunate decision pertains the rules employed. The supplement uses a combination of OD&D and LotFP (Lamentations of the Flame Princess) rules, using the latter e.g. for hit point calculation. The precise choices are never made evident, and it should be noted that e.g. ability score progression of NPCs within assume a linear +1 to the respective bonus for every point above 18, which makes e.g. a Strength of 21 clock in at +6 bonus. This is never clearly stated as such, so depending on how faithful you are regarding the translation of your ability score-based components in your system, this might cause issues. HD (or levels) are noted alongside hit points, and the supplement uses ascending AC. Movement rating is missing the feet-indicator in the bestiary section, for example, and statblock components lack formatting, which makes them slightly harder to use.

    In order to talk more about the other mechanical aspects of this supplement, though, I have to go into mild SPOILERS. If you prefer to experience the game sans previous knowledge of the basics, please jump ahead to the conclusion.

    … .. .

    All right, only referees around? Great! So, as noted before “The Conqueror Worm” could be construed as a form of leitmotif here, and if I had to pinpoint a second, it’d be “gonzo body horror” that doesn’t take itself too seriously, but serious enough to be potentially really wicked. Meatlandia is not a country – it’s the last megalopolis of the world. It’s not a kind city – it’s a moloch, a magical-industrial nightmare-fuel juggernaut of almost Silent Hill-ish proportions in tone, expanded to the level of a city. (And before you ask: The book actually does come with a cartography appendix that does include maps of the city!) This is not a city like Freeport et al – it’s a ginormous, grimy thing, a hive, a collection of beings – it’s a city of proportions like Shenzhen, Laos, Mexico city; a collection of individuals far beyond what the term “city” usually means.

    It also takes a classic metaphor, namely that of a city consuming its populace, and makes it very much tangible. More than once, I felt myself reminded of Silent Hill’s first pre-title card: “the fear of blood creates fear of the flesh.” There is some truth to that, and indeed, Meatlandia makes it very much evident that you can’t expect mercy in its chaotic and dangerous streets.

    Speaking of chaos: The cosmic backdrop of this setting is pretty much the return of the chaos gods, the worms that tunnel through the earth – ostensibly beholden to a Conqueror Worm like thing, consuming everything. Meatlandia sees refugees galore, and indeed, when we visit this place, it is the last megalopolis on the planet – all others have fallen to the influx of chaos brought about by the worms tunneling ever closer to the surface, consuming everything. …Did your PCs fail to stop Rovagug, Kyuss or a similar entity in your last campaign? Well, this may be a nice way to show the aftermath. But I digress.

    The worms are a crucial component of the setting, and they are everywhere – in spells, hazardous effects and magic “items”; and their “worm honeydew” is an extremely potent component of spellcasting and magic in general – buts consumption carries the risk of transforming (as per Ravenloft’s tradition, over 5 steps) into a worm-like monstrosity. This transformation is supplemented by appropriate tables for 6 random effects, with stage 5 meaning, as per tradition, that the PC has transformed into a white worm NPC. The worms, obviously, are agents of chaos, of change – and Meatlandia, in contrast, is not exactly…better? The city is a tyrannical place, held together by iron will and adherences to a brutish and brutal form of Law, and yet, teeter-tottering on the edge of inevitable changes….though their guise if left to be determined by the PCs.

    This brings me to the “classes”, of which 3 are basically “Archetypes”, or if you loathe the term, kits, for the bard. The first of these would be the raconteur, whose main draw is that he can gain a so-called posse of henchmen after singing and carousing for a night; level 5 yields some control over which follower is attracted, and they follow the thief/specialist progression and get d6 HD. With point-based skill-systems, they get s1 skill per level; for percentile-based, -10%, and otherwise, at -2 levels. As far as saves are concerned, raconteurs save as priests/clerics and get +2 to saves vs. paralysis/death, +2 to saves vs. enchantment/illusion and +1 to opposed Charisma checks, and +2 to Dex/reaction-based checks. Additionally, they are hard to influence, imposing their class level as a penalty on such attempts. The posse is left, thankfully, in the back of the book, for the GM, for beyond what they look like, the beings attracted may also have their own agendas.

    More interesting and novel would be the Chaos DJ, and it is NOT for every group out there. The Chaos DJ realizes that she is under the influence of foreign forces. Note that this was YEARS prior to Black Mirror: Bandersnatch highlighting that concept. The Chaos DJ gets to make a special playlist for each session, and then achieve…something…vaguely related to the song’s lyrics. In-game. The whole meta-aspect makes these basically reliant on good referee improve, though one aspect also challenges the player: There is a growing, percentile chance that the Chaos DJ does the opposite of what she’s been told by the player – just to spite those powers-that-be that dare impose their inscrutable wills upon her. The base abilities are in line with those of the raconteur, but instead of the raconteur’s save boosts, these fellows get a +1 to saves vs. magic. While mechanically somewhat rough due to their wide open nature, I consider the Chaos DJs to be perhaps my favorite mechanical aspect herein.

    The third bardic variant would be the nexus bard; they once more share the chassis with the previous two bard-variants, but get +1 to saves vs. paralysis, -2 to saves vs. magic, and +1 to all opposed chaos-related rolls. What the latter means? No clue, sorry. Their signature ability will make them indubitably compelling for the type of player that relishes casting e.g. summon spells in LotFP. They can adjust, once per day, a roll by class level; this can’t negate natural 20s and has no range. They also are inextricably linked with chaos storms ravaging the landscape. When entering a storm and reaching the nexus, they get one chaos charge, and they can store up to their class level such charges….which may be expended to attempt to call forth chaos storms. Yeah, nexus bards are as popular as you’d think them to be – at 5th level, they can collect a tax to move on to other places.

    Why? Well, chaos storms are pretty damn cool, but also brutal: They are a profound, magical hazard, and in the book, we get a massive 100-entry strong table of distinct effects. Save vs. magic negates unless otherwise noted, but they are far out: Turning into puppies or kittens? Yep. Roll one of all your dice types – the highest result becomes the initiative for everyone in the party for the next 24 hours! (Hope you have the d50, d30, d24, d16 et al. ready…) Rain of tropical fruit, gender change, magic weapons (that have a percentile chance of singing), becoming temporarily (or forever, if you’re lucky!) super cool…some really nice ones there. Of course, all gold in the area could turn irrevocably to dust. You could develop a split personality. Ninjas might attack. The table does the CHAOS part of “chaos storm” justice.

    But we’re not yet done with discussing the new layer-facing components. The movers and shakers of the city are the meat mages – and this is perhaps the most radical departure of this version of the supplement. Instead of the rather atrocious original carnomancer rules, we now simply reference Gavin Norman’s masterpiece, The Complete Vivimancer. While the artwork depicting the stages of worm metamorphosis has been swallowed by the new layout, using Mr. Norman’s supplement is a damn smart call. The spell-section, which was pretty much unusable in the original iteration, has been condensed to 2 pages…though the rules here, alas, are not as tight as I’d like them to be. One spell that creates a blubber explosion centered on the caster, for example, fails to specify whether the caster is affected or not. Formatting, this time around, gets spell-references right…about half the time, which may be a plus, but still does not suffice. It should also be noted that there is a cantrip that can yield a defense shield of essentially temporary hit points, but that also increases your weight and size, establishing a more high-fantasy tone than some would assume.

    The final thing to discuss among the player-facing aspects would be the race of the kaldane – think of these fellows as heads with spider-legs: -6 Str, -2 Cha, +2 Dex and Int, 1d3 hit points per level. They fight as thieves/specialists, and save as clerics, with a bonus of +2 to saves vs. mind control. They are treated as fighters for skill purposes, automatically succeed at climbing, and, being essentially just heads, their write-up notes AC bonuses for helmets etc. They can hide/ as a rogue of their level…when not mounted. Mounted? Yep, this species has entered a symbiotic relationship with the rykors, basically throwaway idiot bodies, which can fall apart rather easily. Kaldane do get mind control powers and some limited spell-like abilities at higher levels. Kaldane progress, XP-wise, as thieves, with the class table reaching as far as 12th level.

    The kaldane represent one of the minor factions of Meatlandia, though the map-appendix does offer a map of a warren sans scale. The big movers and shakers, the key-NPCs, are noted in the beginning, in the campaign setting section: Meatlandia is ruled by the iron fist of the meat lord, a mighty carnomancer whose meat mechs keep the…wait…establish and order….no…enforce his rule. That’s it. His iron will shackles the city, makes it withstand – but the price is aforementioned metaphor of consumption. Meatlandia is a visceral place, and his flesh factories constantly churn meat into the magics required by his cadre of casters, consume, literally, the populace. His enhanced meat men are gruesome mutations – think of cybernetic enhancement, but instead with visceral, organic grafts….the place to whip out all those mutation/corruption tables you no doubt have. This subsection of the book, including the bestiary components, also greatly benefits from outsourcing some of the more daunting aspects to the vivimancer, making them run more smoothly. This extends to the NPCs, just fyi – so yeah, this is hands down the superior version as far as rules are concerned!

    The meat lord’s executioner is also noted, and so is his opposition: The valiant rust lord, a champion of death and rebirth, makes for what could be construed as Meatlandia’s Arthurian savior. The adherents of the rust lord wield maces that rust metal items, and they are known as…drum roll “Rustafarians!” Come on, that deserves a chuckle! Other parts of the city are firmly under the control of the Death’s Hand guild, but none know their end-game. Famous knights, particularly nasty vivimancers and horrid monstrosities are noted, and, as the folks are wont to tell, “Our Lady of Sorrows” (nice nod to either a) the myth, b) Argento, c) the criminally underrated CoC campaign, d) Thomas de Quincey’s similarly underrated literary contributions, or e) all of the above…) a kind of collective consciousness of the city, roams the streets.

    Beyond aforementioned chaos storms, we have an inspired d50 city encounters table, a d20 refugee table, and the book does contain magic items that include meat that can be laced with blood of a target, killing the target upon consumption, literal meat shield and similar gory viscera. And worms. There are worms. For example, you should never say a person’s name and “worm” in the same sentence – otherwise, invisible worms all around might manifest and attack. There is a pretty random type of worm that may hijack your body…and there are witches riding on…bingo, worms…though these actually are the setting’s hippies, attempting to establish utopian communes far from the city. Did I mention the “Society for the appreciation of murder”, basically a serial killer fan-club? Or the unstoppable killer that is Sideways Emily, who will kill you? The book also implies e.g. that the world may be eaten by a cosmic fish at one point, and features several nice campaign seeds and hooks, if the massive amount of imagination and ideas herein hasn’t already made you want to run this. It will have, fyi.

    Conclusion: Editing is good on a formal level; formatting is pretty much all over the place and adheres to no convention; better here than in the previous iteration, but still not as precise or consistent as I’d like it to be. The rules-language and rules-relevant components are often opaque, and benefit greatly from outsourcing components to Gavin Norman’s meticulously precise vivimancer. Layout adheres to a two-column b/w-standard, and the book comes with a surprising array of really nice b/w-artworks (original pieces) that capture well the grimy and gonzo high, but dark fantasy vibe of the setting. The cartography in b/w is rather nice and player-friendly, though it’d have been nice to get a scale for the maps. The pdf-version comes fully bookmarked for your convenience, and the PoD-softcover is solid and probably the most directly useful iteration of the supplement.

    Wind Lothamer & Ahimsa Kerp have penned a setting that inspired me; I expected to get a kind of Carcosa-knockoff, and got something different: An, at least for OSR, high-powered setting of easy-come, easy-go, lethal adventuring through one of the most disturbing, and yet funniest, cities I have seen so far. Meatlandia is an inspired post-industrialized nightmare, as seen through the lens of magic, and it can be played as something truly horrifying; similarly, it could just as well be run as a gonzo setting that embraces the over-the-topness of its concepts and runs with it. Stuart Gordon’s “Reanimator” is quoted as an inspiration, and it shows in tone, though I’d probably liken it more to the slightly lesser known “From Beyond” and its treatment of physicality.

    The theme of Meatlandia, the inevitable breakdown of bodies into components to be consumed, in some cases literally, is a theme that resounds, particularly nowadays. The writing and ideas herein are absolutely phenomenal, and the supplement greatly benefits from having the amazing, inspired “Complete Vivimancer” to fall back on.

    The mechanical and formal aspects still are not as well-executed herein as they should be. Don’t get me wrong – this new, vivimancer-enhanced edition of Meatlandia, is certainly the superior product, but I really wished the authors had taken the time to contextualize the entirety of the content within the formatting conventions established by The Complete Vivimancer. If components that are improperly formatted give you the fits, avoid this. This sentence still holds true: Ironically, Meatlandia can be best described as “RAW” – and a bit of simmering would have done it good. That being said, Meatlandia is closer to being a delicious, bloody steak of a sourcebook in this iteration than it ever was before, and while the rules aspects of this book still can’t exceed the moniker of a mixed bag, that’s actually an improvement. The city itself, the dressing, the campaign setting presented herein, is still one of the coolest, most visceral and interesting ones I’ve read in a while. It oozes great ideas, and while nowhere near perfect, the vivimancer edition certainly represents a step in the right direction for Meatlandia. My final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded down for the purpose of this platform. The campaign setting as such, and the ideas, it should be noted, are seal of approval material – it’s just the craftsmanship in some details that prevents this from receiving higher accolades from yours truly.

    Endzeitgeist out.



    Rating:
    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    The Chaos Gods Come to Meatlandia-Vivimancer Edition
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    The Chaos Gods Come to Meatlandia
    by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/01/2019 09:42:30

    An Endzeitgeist.com review

    This campaign setting/toolkit clocks in at 92 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 2 pages of ToC, 1 page blank, 1 page inside of back cover, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 83 pages of content, laid out in approximately 6’’ by 9’’ (A5), so let’s take a look!

    Before we take a look at the content, there are two things of note: For one, I am very ambivalent about this product, so I advise you to read the entirety of the review. This one will be either a hit or a miss for you, depending on your priorities. Secondly, I have based my review on both the pdf-version of this supplement and the Hardcover available for PoD on lulu. I am noting that because I was positively surprised by this PoD book – it comes with a dust jacket and is a pretty impressive book; as far as lulu-PoDs are concerned, it certainly ranks among the most impressive ones I’ve seen, so if you’re a bit of a bibliophile, this may be the version you’ll want to get.

    The next thing you ought to know, is that this is pretty much a blending of player-centric book and GM/referee-material, but that its organization does not reflect that particularly well. We begin, for example, with the general introduction of the campaign setting (prefaced by the classic and amazing “The Conqueror Worm” by good ole’ Poe, which could be seen as a leitmotif) before we dive into the player-centric material. This is somewhat unfortunate, as you can’t simply hand the book to players and tell them “Read only this far.” Instead, you’ll have to curate the content before using it, which is a bit of an unfortunate decision as far as I’m concerned. I don’t like it when my players know the stats of the movers and shakers of a campaign setting.

    The second unfortunate decision pertains the rules employed. The supplement uses a combination of OD&D and LotFP (Lamentations of the Flame Princess) rules, using the latter e.g. for hit point calculation. The precise choices are never made evident, and it should be noted that e.g. ability score progression of NPCs within assume a linear +1 to the respective bonus for every point above 18, which makes e.g. a Strength of 21 clock in at +6 bonus. This is never clearly stated as such, so depending on how faithful you are regarding the translation of your ability score-based components in your system, this might cause issues. HD (or levels) are noted alongside hit points, and the supplement uses ascending AC. Movement rating is missing the feet-indicator in the bestiary section, for example, and statblock components lack formatting, which makes them slightly harder to use.

    In order to talk more about the other mechanical aspects of this supplement,. Though, I have to go into mild SPOILERS. If you prefer to experience the game sans previous knowledge of the basics, please jump ahead to the conclusion.

    … .. .

    All right, only referees around? Great! So, as noted before “The Conqueror Worm” could be construed as a form of leitmotif here, and if I had to pinpoint a second, it’d be “gonzo body horror” that doesn’t take itself too seriously, but serious enough to be potentially really wicked. Meatlandia is not a country – it’s the last megalopolis of the world. It’s not a kind city – it’s a moloch, a magical-industrial nightmare-fuel juggernaut of almost Silent Hill-ish proportions in tone, expanded to the level of a city. (And before you ask: The book actually does come with a cartography appendix that does include maps of the city!) This is not a city like Freeport et al – it’s a ginormous, grimy thing, a hive, a collection of beings – it’s a city of proportions like Shenzhen, Laos, Mexico city; a collection of individuals far beyond what the term “city” usually means.

    It also takes a classic metaphor, namely that of a city consuming its populace, and makes it very much tangible. More than once, I felt myself reminded of Silent Hill’s first pre-title card: “the fear of blood creates fear of the flesh.” There is some truth to that, and indeed, Meatlandia makes it very much evident that you can’t expect mercy in its chaotic and dangerous streets.

    Speaking of chaos: The cosmic backdrop of this setting is pretty much the return of the chaos gods, the worms that tunnel through the earth – ostensibly beholden to a Conqueror Worm like thing, consuming everything. Meatlandia sees refugees galore, and indeed, when we visit this place, it is the last megalopolis on the planet – all others have fallen to the influx of chaos brought about by the worms tunneling ever closer to the surface, consuming everything. …Did your PCs fail to stop Rovagug, Kyuss or a similar entity in your last campaign? Well, this may be a nice way to show the aftermath. But I digress.

    The worms are a crucial component of the setting, and they are everywhere – in spells, hazardous effects and magic “items”; and their “worm honeydew” is an extremely potent component of spellcasting and magic in general – buts consumption carries the risk of transforming (as per Ravenloft’s tradition, over 5 steps) into a worm-like monstrosity. This transformation is supplemented by appropriate tables for 6 random effects, with stage 5 meaning, as per tradition, that the PC has transformed into a white worm NPC. The worms, obviously, are agents of chaos, of change – and Meatlandia, in contrast, is not exactly…better? The city is a tyrannical place, held together by iron will and adherences to a brutish and brutal form of Law, and yet, teeter-tottering on the edge of inevitable changes….though their guise if left to be determined by the PCs.

    This brings me to the “classes”, of which 3 are basically “Archetypes”, or if you loathe the term, kits, for the bard. The first of these would be the raconteur, whose main draw is that he can gain a so-called posse of henchmen after singing and carousing for a night; level 5 yields some control over which follower is attracted, and they follow the thief/specialist progression and get d6 HD. With point-based skill-systems, they get 1 skill per level; for percentile-based, -10%, and otherwise, at -2 levels. As far as saves are concerned, raconteurs save as priests/clerics and get +2 to saves vs. paralysis/death, +2 to saves vs. enchantment/illusion and +1 to opposed Charisma checks, and +2 to Dex/reaction-based checks. Additionally, they are hard to influence, imposing their class level as a penalty on such attempts. The posse is left, thankfully, in the back of the book, for the GM, for beyond what they look like, the beings attracted may also have their own agendas.

    More interesting and novel would be the Chaos DJ, and it is NOT for every group out there. The Chaos DJ realizes that she is under the influence of foreign forces. Note that this was YEARS prior to Black Mirror: Bandersnatch highlighting that concept. The Chaos DJ gets to make a special playlist for each session, and then achieve…something…vaguely related to the song’s lyrics. In-game. The whole meta-aspect makes these basically reliant on good referee improve, though one aspect also challenges the player: There is a growing, percentile chance that the Chaos DJ does the opposite of what she’s been told by the player – just to spite those powers-that-be that dare impose their inscrutable wills upon her. The base abilities are in line with those of the raconteur, but instead of the raconteur’s save boosts, these fellows get a +1 to saves vs. magic. While mechanically somewhat rough due to their wide open nature, I consider the Chaos DJs to be perhaps my favorite mechanical aspect herein.

    The third bardic variant would be the nexus bard; they once more share the chassis with the previous two bard-variants, but get +1 to saves vs. paralysis, -2 to saves vs. magic, and +1 to all opposed chaos-related rolls. What the latter means? No clue, sorry. Their signature ability will make them indubitably compelling for the type of player that relishes casting e.g. summon spells in LotFP. They can adjust, once per day, a roll by class level; this can’t negate natural 20s and has no range. They also are inextricably linked with chaos storms ravaging the landscape. When entering a storm and reaching the nexus, they get one chaos charge, and they can store up to their class level such charges….which may be expended to attempt to call forth chaos storms. Yeah, nexus bards are as popular as you’d think them to be – at 5th level, they can collect a tax to move on to other places.

    Why? Well, chaos storms are pretty damn cool, but also brutal: They are a profound, magical hazard, and in the book, we get a massive 100-entry strong table of distinct effects. Save vs. magic negates unless otherwise noted, but they are far out: Turning into puppies or kittens? Yep. Roll one of all your dice types – the highest result becomes the initiative for everyone in the party for the next 24 hours! (Hope you have the d50, d30, d24, d16 et al. ready…) Rain of tropical fruit, gender change, magic weapons (that have a percentile chance of singing), becoming temporarily (or forever, if you’re lucky!) super cool…some really nice ones there. Of course, all gold in the area could turn irrevocably to dust. You could develop a split personality. Ninjas might attack. The table does the CHAOS part of “chaos storm” justice.

    But we’re not yet done with discussing the new layer-facing components. The movers and shakers of the city are the meat mages – and their rules are NOT good. In fact, the whole “new spells” chapter is basically non-functional and fails to adhere to the conventions of the base systems.I have nothing good to say about it or its lack of organization regarding magic items. The new, vivimancer-based version of Meatlandia is VASTLY superior in this chapter. The final thing to discuss among the player-facing aspects would be the race of the kaldane – think of these fellows as heads with spider-legs: -6 Str, -2 Cha, +2 Dex and Int, 1d3 hit points per level. They fight as thieves/specialists, and save as clerics, with a bonus of +2 to saves vs. mind control. They are treated as fighters for skill purposes, automatically succeed at climbing, and, being essentially just heads, their write-up notes AC bonuses for helmets etc. They can hide/ as a rogue of their level…when not mounted. Mounted? Yep, this species has entered a symbiotic relationship with the rykors, basically throwaway idiot bodies, which can fall apart rather easily. Kaldane do get mind control powers and some limited spell-like abilities at higher levels. Kaldane progress, XP-wise, as thieves, with the class table reaching as far as 12th level.

    The kaldane represent one of the minor factions of Meatlandia, though the map-appendix does offer a map of a warren sans scale. The big movers and shakers, the key-NPCs, are noted in the beginning, in the campaign setting section: Meatlandia is ruled by the iron fist of the meat lord, a mighty carnomancer whose meat mechs keep the…wait…establish and order….no…enforce his rule. That’s it. His iron will shackles the city, makes it withstand – but the price is aforementioned metaphor of consumption. Meatlandia is a visceral place, and his flesh factories constantly churn meat into the magics required by his cadre of casters, consume, literally, the populace. His enhanced meat men are gruesome mutations – think of cybernetic enhancement, but instead with visceral, organic grafts….the place to whip out all those mutation/corruption tables you no doubt have. His executioner is also noted, and so is his opposition: The valiant rust lord, a champion of death and rebirth, makes for what could be construed as Meatlandia’s Arthurian savior. The adherents of the rust lord wield maces that rust metal items, and they are known as…drum roll “Rustafarians!” Come on, that deserves a chuckle! Other parts of the city are firmly under the control of the Death’s Hand guild, but none know their end-game. Famous knights, particularly nasty meat mages and horrid monstrosities are noted, and, as the folks are wont to tell, “Our Lady of Sorrows” (nice nod to either a) the myth, b) Argento, c) the criminally underrated CoC campaign, d) Thomas de Quincey’s similarly underrated literary contributions, or e) all of the above…) a kind of collective consciousness of the city, roams the streets.

    Beyond aforementioned chaos storms, we have an inspired d50 city encounters table, a d20 refugee table, and the book does contain magic items that include meat that can be laced with blood of a target, killing the target upon consumption, literal meat shield and similar gory viscera. And worms. There are worms. For example, you should never say a person’s name and “worm” in the same sentence – otherwise, invisible worms all around might manifest and attack. There is a pretty random type of worm that may hijack your body…and there are witches riding on…bingo, worms…though these actually are the setting’s hippies, attempting to establish utopian communes far from the city. Did I mention the “Society for the appreciation of murder”, basically a serial killer fan-club? Or the unstoppable killer that is Sideways Emily, who will kill you? The book also implies e.g. that the world may be eaten by a cosmic fish at one point, and features several nice campaign seeds and hooks, if the massive amount of imagination and ideas herein hasn’t already made you want to run this. It will have, fyi.

    Conclusion: Editing is good on a formal level; formatting is pretty much all over the place and adheres to no system’s convention. The rules-language and rules-relevant components are often opaque and not precise enough. Layout adheres to a two-column b/w-standard, and the book comes with a surprising array of really nice b/w-artworks (original pieces) that capture well the grimy and gonzo high, but dark fantasy vibe of the setting. The cartography in b/w is rather nice and player-friendly, though it’d have been nice to get a scale for the maps. The pdf-version comes fully bookmarked for your convenience, with nested bookmarks and all, and the PoD-version, as noted, is seriously worth contemplating.

    Wind Lothamer & Ahimsa Kerp have penned a setting that inspired me; I expected to get a kind of Carcosa-knockoff, and got something different: An, at least for OSR-games, high-powered setting of easy-come, easy-go, lethal adventuring through one of the most disturbing, and yet funniest, cities I have seen so far. Meatlandia is an inspired post-industrialized nightmare, as seen through the lens of magic, and it can be played as something truly horrifying; similarly, it could just as well be run as a gonzo setting that embraces the over-the-topness of its concepts and runs with it. Stuart Gordon’s “Reanimator” is quoted as an inspiration, and it shows in tone, though I’d probably liken it more to the slightly lesser known “From Beyond” and its treatment of physicality.

    The theme of Meatlandia, the inevitable breakdown of bodies into components to be consumed, in some cases literally, is a theme that resounds, particularly nowadays. The writing and ideas herein are absolutely phenomenal.

    The same can’t be said about the mechanical and formal aspects. The latter may be excused, but the lack of adherence to a singular system greatly hurts this supplement; it tanks the wonky spellcasting section, and makes things harder for the referee than they ought to be on all accounts. Ironically, Meatlandia can be best described as capital letters “RAW” (Nor Rules As WRITTEN – RAW…like MEAT) – and a bit of simmering would have done it good.

    If you’re in it for the crunch and rules, then think carefully before getting this – in those regards, this is, at best, a 2-star offering, and I wished the book had instead spent more time depicting the amazing setting….which is genuinely inspired, novel and fun. So if that’s what you’re looking for, then this might well be what you’re looking for.

    There is no reconciling these positions. On the one hand, I love the setting; on the other hand, the rules simply aren’t up to par, and as such, my final verdict can’t exceed 3.5 stars, rounded down.

    Endzeitgeist out.



    Rating:
    [3 of 5 Stars!]
    The Chaos Gods Come to Meatlandia
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    Invasion of the Tuber Dudes
    by Tim C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/03/2019 20:33:42

    Incredibly easy to run, requiring minimal GM prep.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Invasion of the Tuber Dudes
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    The Unicorn Cookbook - Fantastic Beasts and How to Eat Them
    by Kristina S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/01/2018 15:45:39

    I wish there was a physical book for it! It is hilarious and I need all my friends to have a copy.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    The Unicorn Cookbook - Fantastic Beasts and How to Eat Them
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    Creator Reply:
    Thanks for the review! We are actually talking about printing up a physical copy as a special give-away. Check our website for more info.
    Pusher Gnomes
    by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/16/2017 06:40:15

    An Endzeitgeist.com review

    This little pdf clocks in at 12 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page back cover, (no SRD), leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

    So, first things first: Pusher Gnomes, as depicted here, are situated in Knight Owl Games’ Meatlandia-setting (review forthcoming), and the vast majority of the gnomes encountered in the setting belong to this trade, which stirred up no small amount of resentment. As written, they, flavor-wise, sport a significant distaste for meat-magic and the information contains quite a few references to Meatlandian specialties, though it should be noted that the meat (haha!) of the pdf can be used sans access to the big book.

    The Pusher Gnome class gets – 1 Str and Wis, +2 Dex, infravision 60 ft., magic resistance (all saves versus made are made at +2), 2 in 6 digging skill and a 5 in 6 chance to detect grades/slopes. They gain 1d4 HD and the class progression caps at 12th level and 450 K XP, with 11th and 12th level no longer providing new HD. Pusher gnomes save as thieves/rogues/specialists and have no armor restrictions. As they are Small, weapon use is restricted, though. They gain +1 to hit versus kobolds and goblins due to racial hate and +4 to AC versus large or bigger creatures. Their fighting ability remains at 1 for the first 3 levels, then proceeds to increase every even level – personally, I would have preferred that aspect to be codified more precisely.

    That being said, the eponymous gnomish drugs that they create is interesting – you consult a table, then add the bonus (based on the class level, up to +21 at 12th level) to the DC…as well as Intelligence modifier. The drug creation system is pretty simple: Ability score modifiers net an increase/decrease of +2 to the DC for every point change. While the intent is clear here: (Decreasing one stat for a lower DC, increasing abilities = higher DCs), the rules-language still could be more crisp here. This same complaint can be fielded versus to hit, damage, AC or save modification, which is based on a point-for-point ratio. Additional attacks cost +3 DC. Skills can be enhanced, taking LotFP-style as well as percentile systems into account. Spell-duplication costs spell-level times 3 in DC-increase. Alchemy kits yields +5 to the check, labs a whopping +10. Help when crafting imposes cumulative -1 penalties per helper.

    Durations range from instantaneous to 24 hours (DC 1 – 13 as basis) and the smaller the hit size, the smaller the DC. Different types also have different DCs and delays of the effects can also influence the final DC. Big plus: The system knows pretty diverse degrees of failure, differentiating 4 types of fumbles when making these special drugs, depending on by how far you miss the DC. 6 fumbles are also included…as are 20 side effects, which help you decrease the DC by -5 per side effect you’re willing to take. Each drug should have ingredients equal to the DC, btw. – these have a base value of 1 GP…which basically constitute the only limiting factor of the system. There is no cap regarding number of attacks, attribute bonuses or the like, making this class a min-maxy nightmare of potent effects. Similarly highly problematic would be that the pdf fails to specify how long it takes to make a drug and when it’s done – only after resting? Any time? Do more complicated drugs take longer to manufacture? No idea.

    The pdf concludes with 4 sample drugs.

    Conclusion:

    Editing and formatting on a formal level, are very good. On a rules-language level, the system is RAW non-operational and requires a) nerfing by the referee and b) some serious decision-making regarding its base way of operating. Layout adheres to a nice-two-column standard that is pretty printer-friendly, with a few colored highlights and solid full-color pieces of artwork. The pdf has no bookmarks.

    Wind Lothamer’s pusher gnomes are evocative and often sport some precise, surprisingly precise, tidbits – but at the same time, the gnomes, alas, are pretty opaque in the way they’re presented. The rules-language lacks some necessary pieces of information and is a long stretch from what I’d consider to be sufficient, even in OSR-terms. That being said, this should not be taken to mean that this is all bad: The basic premise of the system works as written and while the class desperately needs a scaling potency cap for drug-effects to maintain balance with other classes, it can still make for a pretty interesting supplement to build upon. Well, that, and the pdf is PWYW, which allows the customer to check this out and pay a price that’s considered to be appropriate. While, in my opinion, this is worth checking out, at least (particularly when contemplating Narcosa!), I still can’t rate this higher than 3 stars.

    Endzeitgeist out.



    Rating:
    [3 of 5 Stars!]
    Pusher Gnomes
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    The Unicorn Cookbook - Fantastic Beasts and How to Eat Them
    by Alexander R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/17/2017 23:18:52

    A cute suppliment, nice art and nice world building. No mechanics or anything which is both a plus and a minus



    Rating:
    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    The Unicorn Cookbook - Fantastic Beasts and How to Eat Them
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    What's Your Sign?
    by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/18/2017 04:16:00

    An Endzeitgeist.com review

    This'll be a quick one. Why? This pdf covers 2 pages and it is FREE - one page contains the cover, the other the content.

    What we get here would be a d4-drop-table with 12 fantasy signs: Each sign has 4 entries that you can just roll or choose from. These basically represent fluffy characteristics which may or may not influence the game - while e.g. 1 in 6 chances and similar notes are in concordance with OSR gameplay, there is no reason this cannot be applied to other, more complex systems as a little flavor guideline.

    The signs covered would be Lemurs (which can yield, to list some examples, a keen sense of smell, lie-recognition, excellent calligraphy skills or fear of the dark), Feather, Sphinx, Cyclops, Quartz, Narwhal, Lyrebird, Fox, Will-o'-the-wisp, sloth, sage or quokka - the abilities include being able to charm low HD creatures, being very attractive, having some hypnotic quality...you get the idea.

    Conclusion:

    Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no serious hiccups. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly two-column b/w-standard and the pdf has no bookmarks or artwork apart from the cover, but needs none at this length.

    Ahimsa Kerp's little pdf here is worth downloading - reading it will take you 2 minutes, tops, and even if you don't use it as written, it may well spark some nice ideas. It could have used a bit more elaboration and not all signs are equal in power, but as a whole, I like this...and it's FREE. It's hard to argue with that! Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4. As a free file, this is well worth checking out!

    Endzeitgeist out.



    Rating:
    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    What's Your Sign?
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    The Chaos Gods Come to Meatlandia
    by Gerwazy B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/07/2016 11:53:03

    A pretty wacky setting, but on the good side. Reminds me of Narcosa, that was also really weird and unusual.

    As to the content we have a mix and match of classes, short descriptions of places and some tidbits of information of the titular Chaos Gods. Gamewise this is a semi-solid accessory, I would rather call it that. It's fun to use some elements of this setting in conjunction with elements from Narcosa and poof you've got some incredibly weird (but not gory) piece of setting. Drug dealing gnomes, hazy halflings with chaotic mellow alignment (yeah), totalled trolls and stoned snakes.

    What's not to love?



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    The Chaos Gods Come to Meatlandia
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    The Chaos Gods Come to Meatlandia
    by Jarrett C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/24/2016 14:26:07

    Disclosure- I was sent a copy for review purposes.

    This book, in short, is exactly what it purports to be: a toolbox for running adventures in the city of Meatlandia. Designed for use with the Lamentations of the Flame Princess rules, it is easily portable to other OSR systems. It is a collection of NPCs, spells, factions and classes pertaining to Meatlandia, a city ruled by warring factions of Carnomancers, or Meat Wizards. Highlights include details of the major NPCs that control sections of the city, a massive collection of spells that deal with meat magic, and a couple of bard subclasses that will easily fit into any gonzo style campaign. I personally plan to use Our Lady of Sorrows, the physical manifestation of the city's consciousness, the next time my players hit a wall- literally, the next time they strike a wall in a city they will meet her.

    Another standout section is the detailed Magic in Meatlandia part, which details hiw meat magic works and what it entails. This area is rich to plunder and I can see myself setting up some meat wizards for later use. Also of interest is the Chaos DJ subclass- you gotta love a class that will resort to absolute destruction of everything in order to prove a point.

    The spells section is good for PCs wanting to try out wacky flesh and bone manipulation techniques, and the bestiary, while limited, can easily be expanded on for some truly grotesque results! Magic items are cool (especially the Meat Shield!), and the hooks/rumours/game seeds sections are solid, though spread out over three sections of the book. Here is my major gripe- quite a bit of the book could be condensed and organized a bit better- hooks are in three.places, magic and magic classes are scattered, and the bestiary is broken up strangely. Another editing pass wouldn't hurt, either, but overall this is a fun book for a weird place that will fit into any gonzo campaign and would work nicely to give your players a curveball in a more straightforward campaign. Good work!



    Rating:
    [4 of 5 Stars!]
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