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    Book of Beasts: War on Yuletide (PFRPG) $2.95
    Average Rating:4.4 / 5
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    Book of Beasts: War on Yuletide (PFRPG)
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    Book of Beasts: War on Yuletide (PFRPG)
    Publisher: Jon Brazer Enterprises
    by Aaron T. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 02/08/2013 21:03:02

    Disclaimer: I was given a reviewer’s copy of this book. However, I am not paid for this review.

    What you get: This pdf is 14 pages long. Cover (1), Title Page (1), Table of Contents w/ introduction (1), Universal Monster Rules and OGL (2), leaving 9 pages of beasts. At one monster per page, that buys you 9 monsters for $2.99.

    Artwork: The artwork was okay to very good. Some of the art looked like a doctored photograph of something holiday themed (nutcracker, gingerbread cookie, meringue cookie), some looked like holiday cartoons, and some was exactly what you expect out of quality monster books.

    Layout and Editing: Document is laid out in a standard two column format. Editing is superb. The only error I could find was a missing period in Appendix 2, Psychopomp Subtype.

    Overall Impression: This book of Christmas/winter-holiday themed monsters is the first published material (I know of) from JBE’s new editor, Richard Moore. As you might suspect from the Santa hatted lich on the cover, there is significant selection of silliness in this book. You get constructs like the clockwork nutcracker and a golem made of gingerbread. You’ll find singing undead and Santa’s elves and Reindeer as you’ve never seen them before. If your party is hungry for more, you can serve up a killer fruitcake and wash it down with eggnog pudding. Although the theme of the book is silly holiday spirit, these monsters are still deadly serious. Any GM could easily strip the holiday out of the description and serve them up to players. CR’s range from 1 to 13. So, what’s the verdict for a rating? I like silly, so that was a mark up in my book. The monsters are well written and usable (and deadly!), even in a non-holiday themed campaign or adventure. The writing was pleasant to read; instead of slogging through a bunch of monsters, I was excited to see what made each one special. On the down side, it IS a specifically holiday-themed product, which could limit its usefulness for the less creative GM. It is also rather short for the price at 33 cents per monster.

    Final Rating: That brings me to a rating of three and a half stars, rounded up to 4. If there’s one thing JBE writes well, it’s monster books!



    Rating:
    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    Book of Beasts: War on Yuletide (PFRPG)
    Publisher: Jon Brazer Enterprises
    by William W. [Featured Reviewer]
    Date Added: 12/30/2012 08:43:26

    This is a short bestiary of very silly Pathfinder compatible holiday themed monsters. You get the Aberrant Fruitcake, Clockwork Nutcracker, Gingerbread Golem, Eggnog Pudding, Dreidel Swarm, and four others in this collection.

    As silly as they are, each entry is given a bit of background info that is well written, and will make it a bit easier for you to find a place for these creatures in your campaign. Just be sure to expect some eye-rolling from your players once they figure out what they're fighting next.



    Rating:
    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    Book of Beasts: War on Yuletide (PFRPG)
    Publisher: Jon Brazer Enterprises
    by Joshua G. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 12/24/2012 01:54:08

    OK...let's begin with the statement that I am not a fan of humor in my game material. I know, I know, how very grinch like of me, but there it is. That being said, a product that is in fact a humorous product is not quite the same, now is it? I knew the second I saw the cover that what I had in my hands was a tongue in cheek collection of creatures...something for those looking to inject some holiday humor into their gametop...what I was not expecting was the solid design behind the creatures.

    Yeah, I said it, solidly designed critters. Now, granted, their are a few here that will probably only ever exist in a game meant for laughs, such as the Gingerbread Golem, Eggnog Pudding, or even the Aberrant Fruitcake...but their designs are still logical and solid enough to field them, with effectiveness. That spoke through, loud and clear.

    Taking a step towards the undead side of things I have got to say the Dirge Caroler is hands down my favorite creature in this collection, and oddly invokes some nostalgia for classic Doctor Who in me...not sure if it was just the feel of the creature or if there was something similar in an episode, regardless they are a cool concept. Leading a "caroling choir" of well dressed zombies, the dirge carolers enchant and devour to their heart's content within communities, adding a serious level of creepy to those annoying folks wandering around singing.

    And the Dreidel Swarm, now that is an interesting concept, and a well executed one at that. That is easily something I can see getting some mileage at a gametable, showing up perhaps in the lair of a demented toy-maker....hmmm, excuse me, need to make a few notes....

    Point being, if you are looking for a cool little collection of holiday inspired creatures, you've found them, period. There's something in here for any play style, and then some.

    Now, did I have issues with a few things? Yeah...the art is all over the place, some pieces being extremely cartoony, perhaps even childish...but for what this collection is, that oddly added to the charm of the product. Which brings me to my only true complaint in regards to design, and that is the Clockwork Nutcracker having no form of bite attack. It seems an almost given that there would be some special linked with that gaping maw of his.

    All in all though, as I stated, the creatures here are a good collection of holiday inspired weirdness, ready to bring a few smiles to the table as you roll some dice with friends under the tree.

    A 5 star rating for a rather unique collection of oddities.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Book of Beasts: War on Yuletide (PFRPG)
    Publisher: Jon Brazer Enterprises
    by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 12/23/2012 05:45:38

    This pdf is 14 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC/foreword,2/3 of a page SRD, leaving us with 10 1/3 pages of content, so let's check out these holiday-themed creatures!

    The first would be the Aberrant Fruitcake (CR 5),a feline-looking, sticky conglomerate of fruitcakes, taken from the world and lost in the shadow plane, infused by dread entropic energies.

    Bloodhoves are CR 8 flying reindeers that could have been part of the woodland critetr christmas of South Park - deadly, and while a herbivore, prone to putting hooves and muzzle in the blood of vanquished foes.

    Now the CR 4 Clockwork Nutcracker with its oversized hat (providing cover for allies) and blunderbuss makes for a great creature that could be considered an excellent addition to e.g. the Zobeck-setting - combine the Mouse King and the nutcracker and you get a cool idea for a module...

    The CR 11 Gingerbread Golem comes with a neat spicy breath ability and a cool weakness - they are penalized if you steal their gumdrop buttons - and yes, they are fast!

    The CR 3 Dirge Caroler is an undead, impoverished halfling, featuring wis-penalizing deadly dirges and the option to command the undead servants of his.

    The CR 2 Dreidel Swarm is an uncommon swarm of miniature constructs that come with cool signature abilities galore, even beyond sneak attack and tripping capability - draining e.g. constitution, flat-footing foes, fascinating them or dealing more damage.

    On the more weird and funny side, the Eggnog Pudding (ooze), which is not only highly flammable, but also comes with a nauseating slam and the power to split and cling to walls and ceilings.

    The most powerful critter herein is the Psychopomp Wild Hunter (CR 13), who would also make for a great cadre of servants of Oberon/Auberyon with their ghostly servants, spiritsense and final death waiting at their hands...

    More on the trickster-side of the fey-spectrum, we get the Scandinavian Totemnisse, tiny boot portal teleporting and jinx-using mischievous and benevolent fey.

    The pdf closes with universal monster rules and the clockwork and psychopomp-subtypes being detailed.

    Conclusion: Editing and formatting, while not top-notch, are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to an easy-to-read two-column standard with a parchment-like background and the (stock) artworks are ok at this price-point. The pdf comes fully bookmarked, which is commendable. The pdf is also hyperlinked.

    Author Richard Moore has actually created a neat little array of funny monsters that not only are amusing to run, but actually come with intriguing signature abilities that make me want to use some of these and even brought me inspiration to develop some adventure-ideas. At the low price, a solid offering of neat critters that deserves a final rating of 5 stars, just short of the seal of approval.

    Merry Christmas/whatever you celebrate! Endzeitgeist out.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Book of Beasts: War on Yuletide (PFRPG)
    Publisher: Jon Brazer Enterprises
    by Nick F. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 12/21/2012 08:58:13

    Buying this collection of creepy holiday creatures is the best way to get over your disappointment that the world didn't end this morning.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Book of Beasts: War on Yuletide (PFRPG)
    Publisher: Jon Brazer Enterprises
    by Wendy M. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 12/20/2012 15:32:48

    These critters are fantastic! I alternated between laughing myself silly and quivering in terror as I read the descriptions. Some are pulled from folk tales, much like the ones my somewhat-twisted father told me, and others are like a Christmas buffet gone amok. What a delightful way to add some seasonal flavor to a game!



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Book of Beasts: War on Yuletide (PFRPG)
    Publisher: Jon Brazer Enterprises
    by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
    Date Added: 12/20/2012 06:10:37

    TV shows persist in doing it, so why not have a holiday-themed game... or at least the odd appropriate monster! Here's a collection of some nine beasties that in some way have a seasonally-aposite theme. Let them loose if you are lucky enough to have a game during the holidays. If, like me, all your role-players vanish as soon as the mince pies come out (after grabbing a handful, of course) most can be used anytime you need a wintry critter, although you might want to change the name.

    Yup. They have seasonal - and quite silly - names, and you may find it hard to keep a straight face when an aberrant fruitcake or a dreidel swarm hoves into view! The monsters themselves are quite well-developed (and ought to prove a challenge), although sometimes the illustrations do not quite match the descriptions. An aberrand fruitcake, for example, is described as being a stack of fruitcakes arranged in a roughly quadruped form but the illustration is of a glorious leopard-like creature with spots the colours of candied fruit on tawny fur!

    The clockwork nutcracker is a fine and quite terrifying construct, redolent of the one from the 'Nutcracker Suite' while drige carollers bring a whiff of decay and a threat you don't normally expect from a buch of carol-singers. The dreidel swarm also provides a level of threat rarely posed by regular toys and is really rather fun (if you are safe behind the GM's screen, anyway!). As for a gingerbread golem...

    The nice thing is the level of detail and how appropriate everything is - with special abilities and attacks honed to suit the flavour of the monster in question. Even if you don't normally care for 'joke' monsters, these are worth a look.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
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