DriveThruRPG.com
Close
New Account
 
  
 
 
You will lose your chance to get the free product of the week.
One-click unsubscribe later if you don't enjoy the newsletter.
Close
Log In
 
 Forgot password?
 

     or     Log In with your Facebook Account
Browse
 Publisher Info









Back
Other comments left for this publisher:
Monsters of Sin 7: Wrath (Pathfinder RPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/08/2012 05:51:51
This pdf is 11 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let's check out the final installment of the monsters of sin-series!

As is the tradition with the series by now, we kick off with an introduction to the sin at hand as well as the wrathful creature simple template (CR+3),which allows the creature to rage 1/day for 1d6+1 round as the spell and gain the diehard feat as well as reflexively rage when reduced to negative HP.

The new monsters are:

-Hulking Whelp (CR 5): A cute small fey somewhat resembling a small canine, cute humanoid, these neurotic fey grow to a dread huge size when their personal space is violated - per se a nice idea that may grant satisfaction to all those annoyed by yelling small dogs...or crush them! the creature comes with stats for both forms.

-Savager (CR 9): Supremely creepy artwork for a porcupine-like quilled grizzly with saberteeth and scimitar-like claws and a cool armor of scabs.

-Spiteful Spirit: CR-2 template that makes for a temporary undead after a foe has been vanquished. Nice simple template to give an NPC killed by a lucky shot another chance to shine. Per se a nice idea, but honestly, nothing any DM can't make him/herself.

-Embodiment of Wrath (CR 23): The final embodiment of sin-creature is a hulking, 4-armed apelike beast with an aura of anger, the power to detect those seeking to hide from them and a superbly cool ability: When damaged, it gains anger-points that it can use to deal bleed damage, grow an extra arm, haste, bonus feats etc., making the fight progressively harder and making the fight feel like it has phases. Very cool to make the boss fight work very well!

The pdf closes with a page on wrath-related fluff in the Midgard Setting.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to the series' beautiful two-column standard and this issue's b/w-artworks are all rather well-made and iconic. The pdf has no bookmarks, which is a pity - apart from BP-length pdfs, all should have them by now.
The monsters of sin-series triumphs and falls with its brevity and unfortunately, this brevity also means that any creature that is not all killer, detracts from the issue's appeal. And said thing unfortunately holds true for the Spiteful Spirit template, which at best is boring and something that most DMs probably pulled off without having the template. Furthermore, the template's lack of any signature ability apart from its short-livedness is a wasted chance. The other creatures herein are stellar, though, with especially the embodiment's increasing lethality something I'd wish more designers used for their boss beasties. Kudos for the neat design - though I wished the other embodiments had similar options. All in all, this issue is a fitting, albeit not perfect final installment of author Ryan Costello Jr.'s series and will clock in at a final verdict of 4 stars from me.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Monsters of Sin 7: Wrath (Pathfinder RPG)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Complete KOBOLD Guide to Game Design
by JONATHAN N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/04/2012 14:16:36
The best product on the market for aspiring role-playing game authors. Five stars!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Complete KOBOLD Guide to Game Design
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Midgard: Player's Guide to the Dragon Empire
by Joshua G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/02/2012 04:06:11
A 30 page book, the Midgard Player's Guide to the Dragon Empire is a very attractive PDF, with an accent framed parchment style background to the pages, heraldry shield page decorations, both color and B&W artwork, a predominately two column layout and truly astounding editing work. Where as the TOC is not linked, the PDF comes with nested bookmarks that handle the issue just fine.

So, the Dragon Empire...Imagine for a second what would happen if the biggest and baddest dragons out there got tired of defending themselves constantly. If they got tired of having to put out their own efforts to keep their lands and hordes growing. What would happen if egos and personal ambition could be put aside long enough to realize an alliance, a council if you will, would be beneficial for far more reasons than not. From this the Mharoti Empire came into being, named for the dragon who brought the proposal to his fellow dragons within the lands that came to be ruled by the empire.

The really cool thing here in this concept is that we have a very familiar thing here, in that a ruling council governing a large body of people living in various social castes, but we are presented something very new and fresh at the same time. The idea of a society that is in fact designed to favor the scaled races, while allowing for the usage and growth of the various “hairy” species is really cool. We are given not only the social caste and who falls where, but the terminology in Draconic for each level. Coolest thing there in regards to the draconic language being incorporated? We get a common phrase straight from the lips of the Jambuka (Jackals – or to be less polite, us humans and our fellow hair growers). Now, the oddball thing here is that the office of power within the empire is given to a human, as the dragon lords recognized that they could never trust each other to rule the collective lands and amassed armies. Where as the position carries a great deal of power with it, in the end it is a puppet string away from the teeth of the Great Dragon Lords, and the Sultanate lives a life of constantly trying to balance the desires of her draconic masters.

A collection of new traits provided give plenty of options for characters who choose to be from the Dragon Empires as opposed to merely traveling there. Several of the traits however seem to be missing their prerequisites. By the wording, and the sheer names of some of the traits it is not hard to see what the prerequisites should be, but a GM will need to impose them to avoid those players looking for loopholes, as gaining traits benefiting from draconic heritage when one need not be of draconic descent could make it very easy for someone to gain an unfair advantage. As an example of what it is I am referring to I offer up the trait Quick and Cunning Kobold Child - Your quick wits and quicker reflexes are reflective of your kobold ancestry. Now, I'm not going to list the benefit here, but I will say that there is no requirement for you to be either kobold, or at least have an associated bloodline, even though the wording makes it pretty clear you're supposed to. Now, there are section heads detailing for some of the groupings of traits (Combat, Magical, etc.) to whom they are supposed to belong, but there are several points where no distinction has been made, and I find only one trait that specifically has a prerequisite. We are also given a full set of traits that are specifically linked to certain races, as explained in the section lead-in, and the names of each trait. To be clear my complaint in regards to missing prerequisites is for various traits before the racial traits section.

So, that out of the way, what are we getting out of this traits section? A lot. 43 traits in total, with my favorite out of them all being Draconic Trait. This trait allows ANYONE to take a trait meant only for dragons, drakes and dragonkin. It still has its limitations to keep one from going insane, but it does allow you to replace a racial trait with one from the kobold or dragonkin options. A very cool way to allow for the idea that those who live amongst and serve the reptilian races will, in time, pick things up.

24 new Feats make up the next section of the book, with a small sidebar recommending how to handle playing a Drake as a PC race. A great deal of the feats here help take a dragonkin or kobold a step further towards their ancestral big cousins, with feats covering flying, gliding, thicker hide, breath weapons and the such. But there are plenty of feats here for any and all races as well, and even feats to recognize the four elemental gods of the dragons of this region as well. A decent collection of feats, with prerequisites in place and a couple of small feat chains for those who love to link their feats for bigger and better effects.

The next section brings us the archetypes and prestige classes for the Dragon Empire, and the first offering impressed me to no end. Order of the Firedrake (Cavalier Archetype) is in fact a rider, be it dragon or drake, aimed at being that character on the battlefield inspiring and leading her allies into combat with a roar on her lips, and the blood of her enemies painting the ground beneath her. An impressive set of class abilities, my favorite being Dragon Strike (15th level she brings her allies with her on a charge attack, granting them an attack on their move as long as they reach a target...imagine the damage of such an attack folks). The Elemental Exarch (Druid Archetype) gives us a druid who doesn't worship nature, but rather the elements themselves, the underlying keys to nature. Gaining an elemental companion in much the same sense as an animal companion, although with several much cooler perks in regards to what one's companion can do for you, these druids can literally be fused with their elemental, gaining instant bonuses to ability scores depending upon the nature and size of the elemental.

There are 7 more archetypes covering the Magus, Dragonkin, Monk, Oracle, Rogue and Elementalist classes...and no, I didn't miscount, there are two for the Monk – Monk of the Fiery Mist and Monk of the Wind Palm. I could easily write another full page discussing these archetypes, but having nothing negative to say in regards to them, I am going to move on instead to the prestige class. Dragon Emir is a full 10 level prestige class that takes what the Order of the Firedrake started in whetting my appetite with a mounted concept and kicks it into high gear. The Dragon Emir are the elite, those few chosen to ride draconic mounts in to combat, leading the charge, rallying the troops and devastating the enemy. A very cool prestige class, even if it is limited to only the scaly races, lol.

Now what good would a book introducing us to a new lands and society be without a section on new magics, right? Thankfully the Kobolds agree, and they have graced us with 17 new spells to make you twirl your mustache while laughing evilly...mwahahaha...oh..ahem..sorry. So, spells, let's discuss my new favoritest spell for the week...Coin Swarm. Turn any pile of 1,000 coins into a freaking swarm of flying cutting whirling disks of metal, with all the bonuses of potential exotic metals (cold iron, silver, etc.)...I warn my players here and now, as I know a few of them read my reviews...every dragon from this day forward will know this spell....lol. Wyvern's Sting does one of two things, either it transforms the end of a character's tail into the whiplike stinger of a wyvern dealing Con damage, or for those PCs without tails it grows a full wyvern tail for the duration of the spell dealing the same damage as above.
Fiery Sandstorm brings into being a bludgeoning sandstorm enhanced with burning damage as well thanks to the flames licking through the sand. Extra perk? Natural flight impossible, and spell chuckers have to make concentration checks or fall back to manual labor while in the midst of the sandstorm.

A sampling of the exotic goods of these lands closes us out, and is truly the only place in the PDF where I feel let down. We open with a collection of monsters and animals that serve different purposes within these lands, and the list for the most part makes perfect sense and really helps sell the fact that a great deal of the Dragon Empires is in fact a desert nation ruled by draconic races. However, in the intro to these animals and their usages it is mentioned that zombies and yeti are amongst the creatures imported for usage, but they do not appear in the actual write ups, so we are not given a reason for them to be there. From the imported critters we move along to some of the more exotic wares one would find amongst the bazaars of these lands you might not find back home, like Aboleth Brain, or Basilisk Heart (both a delicacy amongst dragons), various weaponry for those with a draconic body frame, poisons that will overcome a dragon's natural resistance to sleep and paralysis...just over all cool exotic stuff...with no prices. And that is where we hit my disappointment with this book. This insanely cool chapter filled with really cool new gear, with no simple chart showing us weights, prices, etc...the basic information we need for gear to incorporate it properly. I can overlook the zombie and yeti being left out of the first part of this chapter, but teasing me with all of this cool gear, and then not giving me prices and basic info...ouch.

Four new magical rugs/carpets tie it all up as the last offerings in this PDF, with a magical trap in the form of a Carpet of Confusion, another in the Rug of Suffocation and Flying Carpet of Suffocation offering the more mobile version of the rug of the same name. The Teleportation Carpet allows for instant transport between two rugs sharing the same plane as long as one knows the correct activation word, unless of course these are set up as traps as well, causing any and all who step upon them to be whisked away...ah traps, wrapped up in cool magical items...gotta love it.

Which brings me to the final thoughts and rating. Overall, I loved this book. I did. My only real complaint is that the chapter handling gear feels like it is missing a very vital chart, detailing not only the gear, but the weaponry introduced there as well. The problem is I don't feel that is a small thing, as it leaves us without prices for any of it, let alone weights. Luckily, this is the type of thing that would take up enough of a page all on it's own it could easily be drawn up and released in the form of an enhancement to avoid having to update the PDF. Hopefully we'll see such a chart at some point.

Now, on to the positive stuff...everything else. No really, this PDF is solid, and introduces a really cool new locale for your Midgard campaign. Not playing in Midgard? Not an issue, a scaly race empire could easily make any campaign world it is dropped in a cooler place to play within. The art is very thematic and will have you thinking along the lines of Persia, Arabia and the vast deserts...well, except for the tribute piece to the classic arcade game Joust....lol, that piece alone needs to be put on T-shirts...just saying Wolfgang, put me down for one, lol.

OK, so, rating. I'm settling at a 4.5, with a rounded rating of 5 for the purposes of this forum, but I am going to clarify that the only reason I am not giving a true 5 is the lack of important information in regards to the new items and gear. And I do hope that something formal is made available to address this.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Midgard: Player's Guide to the Dragon Empire
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Kobold Quarterly Magazine 23
by Tim W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/02/2012 12:55:15
Midgard Campaign setting unveiled! Pathfinder options galore! Demons and Devils abound (Dispater, Pages from Asmodeus, Mechuiti - demon lord, Selling Your Soul, Devil's Food, The Devil Smiter)! World-building advice from Monte Cook! PFSOP adventure by Adam Daigle! Living Gods for 13th Age by Ash Law! A great article on how to scare your players by Steve Winter! And so much more! This issue so kicks butt, I'm not sure how I sleep at night! If you play table top RPGs, you MUST have this issue! 8')

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Kobold Quarterly Magazine 23
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Kobold Quarterly Magazine 23
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/01/2012 12:33:19
This issue of Kobold Quarterly has a distinct slant toward demons and devils, which is quite fitting for a Halloween issue. However, if fiends from the lower planes aren’t your thing, don’t despair – this issue also has over a dozen articles covering a wide variety of non-infernal topics. Let’s look at a few of them first.

What does your older brother plus a water balloon have in common with spreading dread amongst your players? More than you might think. The connection is explained, very eloquently and entertainingly, by Steve Winter in his Howling Tower article, “Real Scares, 11 Techniques for Creating a Strong Horror Atmosphere at the Table.” And no, absolutely none of the techniques involve hiring your older brother to ambush your players with water balloons.

James Thomas brings us “A Few Suggestions, 8 Ways to Influence Weak Minds.” With humor, concise examples, and even a Star Wars reference, Mr. Thomas shows that the humble suggestion spell is unfairly neglected by GM and players alike. And of course, he also shows how to easily remedy that neglect.

“Slithering in Moonlight” by Marc Radle is a guide to using Lamia Commoners as player characters. In addition, he also explores lamias in a way that recalls the excellent “Ecology Of…” articles from back in the print-edition days of Dragon Magazine. Whether as prospective PC’s or just as better-developed foes, this article improves the usefulness of lamias. Also, I thought the story fragment used to introduce this article was particularly effective.

“The Gauntlet Witch” by Morgan Boehringer and Jim Wettstein is an archetype that lets characters mix martial and magical arts. This is the most well-developed archetype description I’ve ever seen. Most archetypes are described in a couple of short paragraphs which say “swap this power for that power.” That’s not the case here. Brace yourself for a detailed, in-depth discussion.

This issue includes two adventures: The first adventure, “Devil’s Food” by Michael Lane, is suitable for a 6th level group. It involves autumn festivals, chocolate, and some wonderfully nasty gnomes. This adventure is set in the world of Midgard, but as with all good adventure modules, some careful name changes will let you securely place it in your own world.

The second adventure, “The Urge to Evolve” by Adam Daigle is a Pathfinder Society Quest. It is nicely compact, should be playable in the course of a single game session, and even includes a sidebar suggesting how to scale it for your group.

I do have one nit to pick with both these adventures. Both use the “I have a job for you” setup, which is one of my least-favorite ways to start an adventure. However, this complaint reflects my personal prejudice rather than any flaw in the adventures themselves, both of which looks like they will be properly entertaining.

Now let’s look at a sampling of the Fiendish Articles:

“Dispater” by Wes Schneider provides everything you need to bring this Arch-Fiend to life in your campaign. Giving major foes a real personality and complex, understandable motives can be quite a challenge … for me, anyway, but apparently not for Mr. Schneider. He shows exactly how to do it for this iconic arch-devil. He has even included a sidebar on the real-world history of Dispater.

Ed Greenwood gives us “Pages from Asmodeus”, a book unlike any I have ever heard of before. This evil object is more imaginative and intriguing than any of the Artifacts from back in 1st Edition days, yet it is suitable for use with a group of almost any level.

“Selling Your Soul” by Rodrigo García Carmona presents a detailed and excellent set of rules to guide both GM’s and players in striking a Fiendish Bargain. I am not familiar with the Age system for which this article was written, but that doesn’t matter. The information in this article is so clearly and logically presented that I know I’ll have no trouble at all adjusting it for use in my 3E/PF game.

Please be assured, I enjoyed all the articles in this issue, even the ones I didn’t choose to mention here. Every article had something interesting, useful, or entertaining to say.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Midgard Campaign Setting
by Brett G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/24/2012 21:20:17
This is a fantastic alternate setting and especially for AGE games (although the Pathfinder roots remain quite evident and are sometimes jarring). It is well organized and beautifully illustrated. Even if one only intends to mine the sourcebook for piecing into a homebrew campaign the backgrounds will be extremely useful both as written and for inspiration.

This is not Earth restyled. Midgard is flat and has a rich cosmology. Included are not just sections on the divine but descriptions of festivals, holidays, and languages. A rather nicely developed urban area named The Free City of Zobek is provided but there are also non-standard areas such as kingdoms of vampires and ghouls. Nor are all the races stock fantasy in origins as Midgard features some distinct takes on such matters including the nomadic Windrunner Elves of the steppes. Adventure seeds are provided and culturally specific weapons and equipment detailed.

In fact, I have only one real complaint but in my mind it is a major problem. The PDF has no print-friendly settings. The illustrations and decoration is quite nice but printing the document (even inpart) will be prohibitively expensive. I gues some could order a bound edition rather than the PDF but the electronic version makes it easier to design adventures and customize the game experience.

Open Design is to be commended for a very strong offering but the lack of a print friendly layer or discrete download knocks it down a star. Buy this PDF only if you never intend to print most of it OR you are independently wealthy so that printing costs won't bankrupt you,

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Midgard Campaign Setting
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Shadow Planes & Pocket Worlds (Pathfinder RPG)
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/23/2012 20:13:24
The following review was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=28065.

This supplement to the wildly popular Dark Roads and Golden Hells takes the sometimes confusing and completely amorphous concept of the planes in RPGs and provides more interesting and exciting planes and monsters to encounter while taking a wild planar journey.

Kobold Press has hit a real home run with their view of the planes and how they operate. Shadow Planes Pocket Worlds feels like a solid supplement rather than something that was just tacked on because there was extra material just lying around. Even without the benefit of Dark Roads and Golden Hells, this book still works well as a standalone, product for extra-planar information.

OVERALL

If you are planning on running a game that involves planar travel then this series is for you. This supplement does not go as far as its predecessor to explain how the planes work, but that isn’t the purpose. The two new locations alone make this a product worth buying; add in the rest of the crunchy information makes Shadow Planes Pocket Worlds even more appetizing.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 9 out of 10
The cover is branded correctly, complementing its older sibling very well. The layout of this book is spot on, rather than trying to fix what wasn’t broken, the folks at Kobold Press stuck with a winner. The page borders still look great and they are just what the Dr. ordered for a product dealing with the planes. The interior art is well done in black and white; there were a few “white spaces” that would have been great for art, but that is minor. The fonts are the right size and easy to read, this book looks great!

Mechanics: 10 out of 10
The diseases and poisons were handled well. Rather than just a charted entry for each poison, there is a brief description, not just a collection of numbers. The templates are reasonable and don’t feel overpowered. Putting a template to an imaginary friend was innovative, but I should realize that Kobold Press has shown a willingness to go there and make it work when they get there. The magic items were interesting, without adding additional burdens to the GM or the player.

Value Add: 9 out of 10
If you are not running a game that involves the planes, then this product loses some value. Even a product as well thought out and as well presented as this one diminishes if not used in the context for which it was intended. If you are even hinting at any type of extra planar activity in your game, then there is something here you can use. The poisons and diseases lose a bit of their flavor in the same way the entire product does if not handled correctly.

Overall: 9 out of 10
This is a tight, tight product! The layout and editing are spot on; the content is top notch. There was a little too much white space on a few pages that could have been filled with art or even designer notes or suggestions on how to run a better planar game. For many of you, this might seem like I’m asking for and expecting way too much, but when you do things as well as Kobold Press does, expecting more is the only way they will maintain their high standards or strive to top themselves. This is a product that should spend no time in the shadows or be kept in anyone’s back pocket.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadow Planes & Pocket Worlds (Pathfinder RPG)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Midgard Campaign Setting
by Jan R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/13/2012 10:10:12
The Midgard Campaign Setting is a wonderful book. The different regions are very diverse and colorful. From a Warring Renaissance Italy over a Cthulhuesque Wasteland to Arabian Nights with Dragons! - there's just so much to dive into and get inspired by. Every place and every NPC is ripe with adventure hooks, everything is designed to create something for your game. With other settings you sometimes get the feeling the authors wanted to write a fantasy novel - not so with Midgard. Here it is clear from page 1 that you have a setting that really wants to help you to create a setting you can and want to play with. It's just great!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Midgard Campaign Setting
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Midgard Campaign Setting
by Gerald R. J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/11/2012 14:49:00
A wonderful take on fantasy. Introduces fresh ideas using familiar faces, with a setting full of possibility! I am currently using Midgard in my game, and the adventure ideas keep growing the more I read. The art is beautiful as well.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Midgard Campaign Setting
by Edward P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/11/2012 10:56:31
I love this book. The art is superb, the writing is crisp, and the world is deeply rich. This belongs in every gamers collection and will provide a lifetime of adventure for your characters.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Midgard Campaign Setting
by Keil H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/10/2012 21:20:37
Bottom line up front: the Midgard Campaign Setting is an excellent piece of work. As a DM, I strongly endorse it.

Disclaimer: I love campaign settings. In addition to doing the classics like Ravenloft and Forgotten Realms, I've tried out a lot of alternative settings for my players. Back when it was new, I sent an established FRCS party from Toril to Eberron. I've also bridged Eberron with Dark Sun (decent), and set a game in the pre-history of Eberron (better). In recent years, I've climbed all over Golarion (Pathfinder RPG) over the course of four Adventure Paths. I've even dabbled in the new edition of Midnight. Lately, though, I've found that I'm quite taken with the Old Margrave, the Free City of Zobeck and the rest of Midgard.

Bluntly, even though I've been DMing games for a really long time, the Midgard Campaign Setting helps me to tell a better story. The Central European influence is rich in role-playing flavor and helps even my novice players create PCs with solid hooks on which to craft character arcs, fears, plot complications and distinctive, memorable features. The adventures that I've run in Midgard have very well received by my players. Races like the Gearforged and regional traits like those from the Margrave forest supplement export very well to other settings, but are richest in their native land.

If you're a 3.5 or 3.75 player, this PDF is definitely worth your time. If you're a DM, I submit that it's a must-have. And if you're a hardcore gamer, you'll probably buy the printed edition, too. I did.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Midgard Campaign Setting
by Chris K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/10/2012 16:07:25
I was lucky enough to be a patron of the Midgard project from the start. What a pleasure it has been seeing this , well to be frank, work of art. Makes a perfect addition to any Pathfinder/AGE world, or use the rich background that it contains.

I mean how many other games have Loki, Baba Yaga and Other Nastys in one setting and makes it all work?

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Midgard Campaign Setting
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/08/2012 14:31:09
The first thing to notice about this book is its beautiful cover art. The next thing to notice is it size - it is just shy of three hundred pages. Even though I received a reviewer’s copy a few days ago, it is so massive that I’m still just scratching the surface. It is also staggeringly imaginative - not surprising, as there were a hundred or more people contributing ideas for Midgard’s editors to pick through and use.

This book has all the things you expect and need from a campaign setting: Regions, races, geography, culture, gods and pantheons, customs, trade, technology, maps, new feats and regional traits, new magic items, new spells, political intrigue, wars… The list of things that need to be discussed to do justice to Midgard seems endless. However, the time and space to discuss them aren’t. So, to keep this review manageable, here are my three favorite discoveries so far:

Ley Lines: Mythology and literature often describe certain “places of power”, where magic is stronger or stranger then elsewhere. While there has never been anything stopping DM’s from creating such locations, early FRPG’s offered little to no support for this idea. Current editions do noticeably better, but still leave most of the details up to individual GM’s, offering encouragement but scant guidance. The Midgard Campaign Setting has richly developed the idea of ley lines. Descriptions, tables, and imagination positively drip from the pages. Want to surprise your players with some locations where magic takes on a life of its own? Here it is, all laid out and ready for you to use.

Divine Masks: Sometimes, the gods are not who they seem to be. I’m particularly happy with this idea for three reasons: First, it’s historically accurate. The Romans used a concept very similar to this when they wanted to reconcile their ideas of how the gods worked with their neighbors’ ideas of how the gods worked. (“Minerva? Sure the Egyptians worship her just like we do, but they call her Isis.”) Second, I’ve never seen it used, mentioned, or even hinted at in any FRPG until now. In other words, from a gaming perspective, this idea is 100% novel and new! Third, masks help restore a sense of mystery, power, and grandeur to the gods; something they’ve struggled to maintain ever since the first printing of “Deities Demigods and Heroes” rolled off the presses almost forty years ago. I think this idea is going to help GM’s make the religions of their world more vibrant, interesting, and meaningful.

Portability: Since Midgard is an integrated, self-contained campaign setting, I wasn’t really sure at first how much of it could be harvested for use in my own world. To my great delight I have found that most, maybe all, of the basic ideas in this book are portable. As I already mentioned, Ley Lines and Divine Masks can easily be used in anyone’s current game world. Even entire regions can be transplanted if you so desire. Portability is important to me because that’s how I use almost all gaming supplements: I extract the ideas and fit them into my already-existing campaign. Portability means the Midgard Campaign Setting is valuable to me even though I’m not planning to give up my own homebrew world. I can use the vast amount of information and ideas in this book to make my own world better.

I leave you with three conclusions I’ve come to regarding Midgard.

Conclusion #1: Everything I’ve read adheres to the exceptional quality I’ve come to expect from Kobold Quarterly’s Open Design process.

Conclusion #2: This book will provide many weeks of enjoyment simply from reading it to discover all its secrets.

Conclusion #3: Once you begin actually using its secrets in your game, it will provide many years of additional enjoyment.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monsters of Sin 6: Sloth (Pathfinder RPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/04/2012 02:12:33
This pdf is 10 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page advertisement/SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with a total of 6 pages of content, so let's take a look!

Following the format of the monsters of sin-series, we start the issue with a short discussion on the nature of sloth as well as a quick template to create slothful creatures (reducing the CR, actually) before we delve into the new beasties herein.

The CR 4 Flab Giant is a disgusting, lumbering being that can't run or take five foot steps, but it can actually sit down on you, crushing you with its inaction and pin you with one combat maneuver-check. Nice!

The CR 6 Scrap Drake is usually a sluggish, constantly sleeping drake that makes for an ideal guardian - woe to those disturbing it, though: Their bursts of speed make them temporarily VERY fast and agile and the creature also has a cool breath weapon that consists of shoving debris in its mouth and spewing the splinters/dirt/whatever at its foes. Cool!

At CR 15, the Slow Storm makes for a truly weird being: Surrounded by wisps of humid wind, these strange spiny balls can not only cast some lightning-based spells, they can also cause arthritic pains that make you regret every action, since you take damage for non-purely mental exertions. I would have loved a slowing aura or the like, though.

The final new creature herein, as with every Monsters of Sin-book, is the Embodiment of the respective sin - in the case of sloth, a CR 17 unmoving blob of flesh sans features. It's vast telepathic range of over 2000 miles enables it to recruit powerful followers to fall prey to its aura of slothfulness, that can sustain its followers in their inactivity, but also adds the slothful creature template to them. It should be noted that the embodiment can exempt people from its dread aura to grant them a temporary motivation and respite from the languishing existence at the non-existent feet of this mound of inactivity. The embodiment is cool, though I feel it could have used some additional defenses against threats - as written, it's quite proverbially a barn that behaves like a sitting duck - a DR or a sluggishness when hitting it as an additional form of defense would have been nice.

As always with the series, the installment closes with a section on tales of the deadly sin in the midgard campaign setting.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to a beautiful 2-column standard with red highlights and the b/w-artworks are awesome. The pdf has no bookmarks, which is a bummer, even at the short length. Sloth - The Death of potential is perhaps my most hated of the deadly sins, representing one of the most devious sicknesses that can befall the human mind and spirit. It's also probably rules-wise one of the most interesting ones, since being inactive usually is not THAT dangerous. I expected lost actions, slow foes etc. and the pdf delivered. While I still maintain that the embodiment is a tad bit weak and that the slow storm could have used a slight bit more variety regarding its spell-selection. Nevertheless, though, this is one of the installments of the series that nails the essence of the sin and thus, I'll settle for a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monsters of Sin 6: Sloth (Pathfinder RPG)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

New Paths: Expanded Shaman (Pathfinder RPG)
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/01/2012 15:16:16
The following review was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=26985.

The Expanded Shaman builds on the shaman class that Kobold Press introduced in Kobold Quarterly #21. While the shaman has many things in common with its druidic cousins, they are two distinct classes that will help any adventuring party get their green on!

OVERALL

Who doesn’t like new character classes? The Expanded Shaman brings us a character class that has appeared in most editions of most fantasy RPGS in one form or another. This 16 page Pathfinder supplement has just the right amount of information to really make the Shaman feel like a fully formed and well thought out character class.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 9 out of 10
I really loved the cover of this product; Christophe Swal really captured the spirit of the shaman. The green title area with the yellow writing feels right. The addition of the green tree top and the standing stones below it reflect the multifaceted nature of the druid. The plant inspired light grey page border on the left is classy and really enhances the impact of the page. The shaman squatting on the rock looks just wild enough to be mysterious, but just wise enough to seek advice from. The inclusion of the iconic shaman staff festooned with fetishes didn’t seem forced.

The interior color art maintained the feel that the cover gives the reader. My only disappointment, art wise, was the black and white owl used on page 9. If it had been done in color this would have been 10 out of 10. The books layout is standard for Pathfinder support materials and it works. The base class description was a good call. I have seen several publishers produce a product like this and not include the base class description. Seems like a no brainer, unless you are trying to make people spend more money and buy two of your products. I applaud Kobold Press for not trying to stick it to us! The Inclusion of the useful Spirit Guide and Wildshape sheets is really useful for both player and GM. I have seen players who have sworn off playing characters who shapeshift because it is so difficult to track your shifted stats. This isn’t the first time someone has developed a sheet to track these items, but I’m glad it was included.

Mechanics: 10 out of 10
Because this is considered a base class, I think the mechanics are much easier to deal with than they would be if this was a prestige class. The class is well-made and has some interesting abilities that will satisfy a player who wants to change things up a bit without getting freaky. The shaman’s ability to cast any spell they know is balanced out by their limited amount of spells. This is a simple mechanic that makes things a bit more interesting. The use of the druid spell list was the right call. As a player I do find it hard, when I have so many spells to cast, to be able to quickly pick the best spell for the task at hand.

Value Add: 9 out of 10
Shamans are an interesting class that can add to most parties. I would not classify them as specialists but more in the utility category. From a GMs stand point there are some minor aspects of this class that will cause some extra work, but if you are in tune with your players it shouldn’t be an issue. The inclusion of the base class and the extra “tracking” sheets for a character sheet/portfolio make this worth $3.99 USD. Add feats, Archetypes and new spells and this is a good financial value as well. This is a Pathfinder product and it is focused for that setting. This product would have been perfect if some general non-Pathfinder shaman information had been included as well as a bit of information on specific places in the universe where shamans might be found.

Overall: 9 out of 10
When I received my review copy of this product I really looked at it as a straight forward character class supplement. As I started to delve into it, I could see that it was a straight forward character class supplement; that happens to be done really well. I was disappointed that shaman personality traits based on spirit totems were not introduced. I would have enjoyed seeing the requirement for shamans to have a few taboos to maintain their powers. Kobold Press has done a great job of summoning the shaman as a character class for Pathfinder.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
New Paths: Expanded Shaman (Pathfinder RPG)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Displaying 106 to 120 (of 261 reviews) Result Pages: [<< Prev]   1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 ...  [Next >>] 
0 items
 Hottest Titles
 Gift Certificates