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Pathways #31 (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/21/2013 07:34:09
An Endzeitgeist.com review

The latest installment of Rite Publishing's Pay-what-you-want e-zine is 44 pages long, 1 page front cover, 11 pages of advertisement, 1 page ToC and 1 page SRD, leaving us with 30 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



David Paul mentions some supplements and muses on monsters in this issue kicking-off editorial before we are introduced to this issue's template by Steven D. Russell, the CR +2 undead jesters may emit deadly cackles and send foes crushing to the ground, helplessly laughing. Rather nasty: They may throw cards on foes, with the effects duplicating the dreaded deck of many things - this creature should be used rarely and wisely, since the results from this deck can change the whole course of a campaign...not sure whether I like this template, to be sure. The sample creature, the court jester of Orcus is perhaps the coolest (and at CR 22, appropriate foe) possible implementation of such a template though. The illustration by Jacob Blackmon is awesome, though a bit pixelated for my tastes.



Next up, Liz Winters introduces us to the crew of Pathfinder wizards working with lone wolf to convert your favorite supplements. More on the crunchy-side would be Steven D. Russell's expansion for Restless Souls (from In the Company of Monsters), my favorite way of bringing dead characters back (I tend to heavily restrict resurrection etc.) get 17 new alternate racial traits - and they are AWESOME - came back wrong, for example, allows you to become more resilient versus maddening effects and several of the traits allow you to 1/week get a significant bonus (like a reroll) - nice!



Raging Swan Press' mastermind Creighton Broadhurst provides a useful d%-table with more than 40 entries to provide dressing for caves and caverns.



Jacob Kellogg offers us an article on smart fighting, with two archetypes and 5 feats: Fighters may opt for the expertise experts Tactical Opportunists that improve the effectiveness of readied actions and AoOs and rogues may become Precision Strikers - who lose trapfinding and -sense in favor of a bonus to atk. Additionally, they may succeed at opposed int (or versus wis in the case of animals) checks to deny foes their dex-modifier. Honestly, not sold on either - the fighter archetype is promising with the bonus for readied action, but could have used more unique tools to play with. The base mechanic of the rogue archetype, based on opposing int-check, simply is clunky design - with 2 d20s and no skills or HD involved, this ability will never see use in my game due to not being based on capability, but rather luck - a significant discrepancy between rules-intention and execution. On the feat-side, first there would be Deadly Acumen, which allows you to take a -1 penalty to melee atk and cmb-checks for +2 to damage on melee rolls, halved when using natural or two-handed weapons. Rather ingeniously, this feat's benefits are tied to a Knowledge-skill you have - for every 4 ranks in said skill, the benefits increase by -1/+2 conversely. It does not stack with power attack. See, that is great tying of mechanics - concise and effective: Awesome! Precision timing and the two build-up feats, which increase the effectiveness of readied actions are also awesome, as is the Systemic Maneuver Training-feat: It makes you NOT incur AoOs with ANY combat maneuvers. Let that sink in. Sounds op? Actually...it isn't. Look up all the benefits the improved maneuver feats net - this does not provide any of them, it just "unlocks" combat maneuvers for the character. I'll see whether this one works in play...



This issue's interview is with John Four, master of RoleplayingTips.com, who offers online courses for DMs to make their combats faster and more efficient - and interesting service to say the least and an informative interview.



After that, we're off to reviews of the best products (4 and 5 star files only) released by 3pps, provided by Trev W. and yours truly.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to RiP's two-column full-color standard and the full color artwork is nice - on a downside, the artwork from the cover is a bit pixelated. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.



This pdf's article on restless souls is neat indeed and the other contributors also deliver some interesting pieces herein - however, the template is VERY limited in its usefulness and Jacob Kellogg's offering ranges from superb & awesome to weak. Overall, this pdf offers some nice pieces of content, even though it's not among the best issues of the e-zine.

All in all a solid offering of "Pay what you want" content that does contain some pieces of crunch that definitely are worth the HD-space - hence my final verdict will clock in at 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Pathways #31 (PFRPG)
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Lords of Gossamer & Shadow (Diceless)
by sean l. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/15/2013 15:29:55
Excellent successor to the venerable Amber DRPG. The world is much more open and hopefully rite publishing will take advantage of this and produce more content and more flexible rule sets.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Lords of Gossamer & Shadow (Diceless)
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Publisher Reply:
Thanks for taking the time to do a review sean.
In The Company of Fey: A 1st-20th level Player Character Racial Class (PFRPG)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/12/2013 12:01:01
Opening in delightful style in the words of a captured fey, this work tells of the nature and culture of the fey as they themselves see it, for this enables you to make fey characters should you wish to take these enchanting yet often foul and grim beings out of the realm of the 'monster' to mix with an adventuring party.

Here we read of how fey have three different forms: their natural one, their 'seeming' and another unique one which is the monstrous aspect, the appearance of which gives rise to tales of boggarts and wil'o'wisps and the like. The 'seeming' is the one used to walk amongst normal folk and can look like a human or an elf. There's plenty more detail too about fey outlooks and behaviour and attitudes.

Then we get down to the rule mechanics of creating a full-blown fey character. There are racial traits galore, favoured class options and a couple of archetypes which go some way to giving background to just why a fey has chosen to live in mortal realms long enough to take up adventuring. Also there is a 'paragon class' that blurs the lines between race and class for those seeking to be the epitome of a fey. Truly potent beings, a paragon fey is a force to reckon with... treat with care lest one unbalances your game. But with a strong role-player this could be intriguing indeed.

The product rounds off with a collection of feats for fey alone. This is a fascinating concept - stories abound of fey coming to live amongst mortal men. Now you can make this happen at your table!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
In The Company of Fey:  A 1st-20th level Player Character Racial Class (PFRPG)
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The Secrets of Martial Mastery (PFRPG)
by James S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/12/2013 02:21:02
Seems fair but I doubt I am going to use this book. It just doesn't fit the game I am running but since it's a low price I won't complain too much. Maybe I can glean something from it, but I really doubt it will fit my campaign as is.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
The Secrets of Martial Mastery (PFRPG)
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20 Variant Foes: Red Dragons (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/08/2013 04:03:01
An Endzeitgeist.com review

So this is the first installment of Rite Publishing's new "Variant Foes"-series - content-wise, it clocks in at a more than solid 47 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 2 pages of advertisement, leaving us with a massive 42 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



Red dragons...the most iconic apex predators EVER. I have, at length, complained about overusing dragons, forgetting that these majestic creatures are supposed to be the most powerful threats PCs face - and this pdf seeks to bring back the unpredictability back to dragons - and unpredictable they are. In case you didn't know, statblock supremo Justin Sluder, responsible for the deliciously complex characters we know from the Faces of the Tarnished Souk-series, is also responsible for the statblocks herein - you won't find a single lame dragon/simple build herein. Now in this series, he has teamed up with Elaine Betts -so let's take a look at what this duo delivers, shall we?



Well, first of all, we get Rite Publishing's by now almost trademark frame narrative that cloaks the content herein in a guise that makes the crunch not only more digestible, but actually a pleasure to read. Each entry features an IC-narrative of the respective draconic entity, supplemented by a note from the researcher Leiraleen Amelour. Now CR-wise, the entities herein range from CR 30 (!!!) to CR 3. Now the CR 30 beast would be Seer Hekush - a chronicler of ages not really from this planet and neither a true dragon in the classic sense - this man is actually a LN bipedal accelerated dread mummy undead lord very young red dragon diviner 11/loremaster 10 that wields his sarcopahgus as a kind of armor and who has seen at least two ages come and pass - at AC 56 and more than 400 HP, this eternal chronicler of the ages sets a high standard - one, as I'm happy to report, the other beings herein live up to:



Take the Fould Dcotor Feulzik - CR 28 mythic runecarved savant great wyrm red dragon (OUCH!) who experiments with the very essences of life and death, seeking to probe (and possibly transcend) the limitations of vital essence itself. Or take Unja of the Undying Fire, a divine ravener divine channeler undead dragon that can blast foes to smithereens with fire both black and searing hot, annihilating any opposition and "elevating" adversaries to glorious living death. Need some draconic goodness that is a bit more subtle? What about a bipedal exemplar multiarmed mystic dragon ninja? OUUUUCH!!! Just contemplating the PAIN these beings may mete out makes me chuckle with fiendish glee!



Are you a fan of Warhammer's two-headed chaos dragons? Well, this supplement has got you covered and also features one (or is it two?) of these as well as hellfire dragons, furnace dragons with weapon master levels, stealthy pygmy dragons, a crippled invulnerable rager, a dragon tired of life, yet afraid of death, young (and cowardly dragons) and a (probably) kind of cute wyrmling that has been unhinged by being suffused with chaos magic that infects those around him.



The book also chronicles the tools made to create these magnificent beasts: 7 templates,11 feats, 1 spell, 1 magic item, 2 arcane discoveries, all necessary information for divine channeling as well as the properties of quintessence.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, though not perfect - I noticed some minor glitches here and there, no crucial ones, though. Layout adheres to RiP's two-column full-color standard and the pdf comes with a significant amount of full color artworks, many of which I have not seen before - and some of these artworks are downright awe-inspiring, so kudos indeed! The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.



OH BOY! What a way to start a series, what a way! The dragons herein run the gamut from cool in character and build and rather common and easily inserted to downright GLORIOUS BEASTS that should more than satisfy even the most discerning of tastes wishing for exceedingly complex builds. Even in Rite's tradition of complex, cool builds, these stand out and mark this pdf as one damn fine example of the art of NPC/monster-craft that has me clamoring for more! If you liked the complex builds of the Faces of the Tarnished Souk-series, if you hate standard dragons as used in so many modules, give these a go - the beings herein live up to the terror they ought to inspire and definitely are anything but common. Remarkable, complex and a good read to boot - well worth 5 stars + seal of approval!

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
20 Variant Foes: Red Dragons (PFRPG)
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Infernal Romance at Moon Temple (PFRPG)
by Trev W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/03/2013 01:25:13
I think this is a great adventure with real potential and a likelihood of being extremely memorable due to the roleplaying sections. There are some problems involving the art and design, so I will address those first.

Problems
The cover characters and some of the pictures within, are not high on detail. I like the backgrounds, those are good, everyone likes creepy temples in the moonlight; but not all characters pictures look fantastic. The other design problem is the yellow text on green background choice. That isn’t the easiest thing to read. Dark red or black on white is easy to read, yellow and greens are less distinct. The yellow script and green background paragraphs are intended to be read to the players, or presented to them. This is clear, but the colours were obviously a design choice. The product certainly looks different to other adventure paths, but this was a problem for me (I prefer dark text on pale backgrounds).

The Adventure
Now on to the adventure itself. The first paragraph sells the adventure extremely well. Moving from the setting, to enemies, to curses and encounters. The game is meant to fit into the Jade Oath setting, but is notably adaptable across settings and into Asian themed regions, with the note the central city must remain for the adventure to work. The writing is good straight off the bat, and a dm/gm could use parts of this to lure players in for good times—there will be rebels, dancing lions, faen pirates, a kidnapped thief and a cursed city. It makes it sound very attractive.

The first paragraph for the players once they arrive in this unusual city is also quite strong and evocative. Continuing on, there are multiple reasons and adventure hooks given for the players to be in the region when the adventure starts. I especially liked the pirate crew and disciples of the one school here to win the martial arts tournament ideas. The rumours and what can be revealed via knowledge checks are well thought out; this rapidly creates a political and cultural setting for the game, so this will want to be shared with the players.

In the arena, the dragon-lion dance combat could lead to many memorable matches. The players must work together or they lose. They must also, quite hilariously, hold on to the dragon-lion costume (1 hand) and stay adjacent to one another. A lot of thought went into this, and there are variant martial arts rules for the competition.

The dating dragon ritual is not something I have seen before in gaming. It will require real thinking and overcoming awkwardness to pull off and woo a spirit attendant. There are plots afoot and a few things thrown in to make sure the pcs are involved and don’t just ignore it with a blush in their cheeks. I quite liked how this was explained and how it could go.

That is enough! I cannot give it all away. There is a further chase scene, the pirates emerge and battles take place at the moon temple. I have looked this over and I can say, this becomes a more typical adventure later with plenty of combat. Although its starts and develops in a truly original direction. It isn’t all combat or a hack and slash dungeon, there is a high call for skill checks and roleplaying for most of the adventure, which I personally appreciate.

A fine product and an adventure with a difference. It may take 2 to 3 sessions to run, but could be longer if the players spent a lot of time with the courtships. Infernal Romance at Moon Temple deserves 4/5 stars, leaning close to 5.5. It is also quite affordable given the amount of work that clearly went into it.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Infernal Romance at Moon Temple (PFRPG)
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Adventure Quarterly #4 (PFRPG)
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/30/2013 09:11:11
The following review was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=38979.

Adventure Quarterly continues to feed hungry gamers with regular installments of modular pre-made adventures or adventure situations that will please almost any gamer. The fourth issue of AQ maintains the high standard that the other three issues have established, maintains, but does not supersede. This product is 85 pages of usefulness, especially if you are the type of GM who loves to have a few pre-made adventures in your hip pocket in case your players do what they always do, which is go where they shouldn’t and never meet the people you want them to meet or go the places you have lovingly spent the better part of two weeks mapping out. This issue contains three adventures, one including Ratfolk, another that creates clones of the party’s player characters and a ghost story. Followed by these adventures is one of Creighton Broadhurst’s Dungeon Dressing series where he gives us 100 entries dressing up and having to do with doors. The final product in this installment is a wide-open sandbox description of an anywhere setting called the Dam War.

I normally start with the physical aspects of Rite Publishing’s products and I can’t see where this product should be any different. The cover art looks horrible digitally. Because of the colors used, the Ratfolk depicted on it is like a brown blob. I had to look really hard to determine that it was actually a Ratfolk. I think this is just another case of stock art gone bad, but that seems to be par for the course for Rite Publishing. Other graphics did much better on the interior of the book and while they were not top notch, the maps were useable for the GM. I would have loved to have seen a map that was player friendly. Rite Publishing has included them in the past and there is no reason they shouldn’t do it in the future. The layout and the page borders are almost a foregone conclusion for Rite Publishing; they have figured out what Rite Publishing looks like and have stuck to it.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Quarterly #4 (PFRPG)
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#30 More Manuals of Improvement (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/24/2013 02:51:27
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This sequel to the first collection of 30 manuals is 21 pages of content, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 2 pages of advertisement, leaving us with 16 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



As has become the tradition with Rite Publishing's supplements, we get the crunch herein framed by an aptly-written frame-narrative before diving into new manuals for permanent character improvement. Before I go into some examples, here are some worthwhile facts about them: Each of the books comes in at least two iterations, most of the time actually three - elementary, advanced and expert levels, all with the necessary GP-values, upping the ante of how much bang you get for your buck - there are much more than 30 manuals in here! Furthermore, each type of manual comes with its own fluff-text to introduce you to the matter at hand, making for a better reading experience than most crunch-heavy books without bloating it.



Whether it's metamgic feats, blind-folded combat, superb contortion - there are quite a few of interesting options hidden in the pages of these tomes - if you can meet the e.g. spellcasting or skill-rank prerequisites to properly digest the contents offered. Now I'm aware that the bonuses are supposed to be significant for 20K Gold books, but honestly, some of the skill-enhancing books herein are simply too strong for my tastes - By studying a manual on body language for 72 hours over a minimum of 9 days, a character may gain a +10 (!!!) competence bonus to sense motive that stacks with previous iterations of the book.

And yes, 10 ranks in sense motive are required for that particular example, but still - that's a doubling of the capability in that field and even before the additional benefits (vastly improved understanding of secret messages), that's a tough one to swallow - at least for me. Especially since both craft and perform are among the skills also covered via these manuals. And yes, an advanced rogue talent, a style feat or improved dragging capabilities strike me as better balanced than these massive skill bonuses, which unfortunately are mirrored in various manuals.



In fact, the respective manuals to net combat maneuver-themed benefits (either via feats or further enhancements of the respective maneuvers) strike me as less significant, even though Pathfinder is a bit stingy with these resources.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to RiP's full color two-column standard and the pdf comes with nice stock-art that fits thematically well the content of the pdf. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.



I usually tend to really, really like offerings by Mike Welham, though this one leaves me with doubts - the manuals herein have interesting effects, yes, and I like that they promote PC growth via research instead of contributing to the Christmas Tree-syndrome. That being said, I'm not wholly comfortable with the massive bonuses some of these books tend to net: Yes, magic items may also net such massive bonuses, but they also occupy a slot - and for the respective price of these items, they confer permanent enhancements. And yes, while bonus types tend to limit the amount of stacking possible, still, I'm left feeling slightly uncomfortable with the bonuses these manuals deliver - not because they're broken per se, but because they are so...significant. An item doubling what otherwise is a rather scarce resource just has this knee-jerk reaction of me going "OMG" -even when it is not wholly justified. Taking some careful deliberation (and time - there's a reason my reviews tend to take some time), there are several magic items that actually do more and could be considered just as powerful. Still, the fact that the benefits are no longer tied to physical objects that can be broken or taken away means that the manuals, per se, can be considered more powerful than their item-counterparts - which again, leaves me feeling slightly uncomfortable with these manuals, in spite of the control a DM has on item-flow. Especially for rather low-powered play, these can present some potential issues when inserted into the complex equation that is a character.



Still, on the other hand, the manuals herein will quite probably, thanks to prerequisites, rarity and at times, rather ingenious additional benefits, find some thankful groups where their impact is most cherished, bringing down the total amount of necessary magic items - for these groups and especially rare magic settings/play-styles, these manuals are a godsend and absolutely gorgeous - and should definitely be considered 5 stars...for said rounds. Hence, I will stick my verdict in a middle-ground and arrive at a solid 4 stars - a good supplement, if not one that will fit the play-style of every group. DMs implementing it should definitely take heed regarding bonus types, since they are a limiting factor on what can be stacked.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
#30 More Manuals of Improvement (PFRPG)
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101 Variant Monsters (PFRPG)
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/16/2013 08:15:54
The following review was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=38519.

One of the latest installment of the 101 series from Rite Publishing is an odd combination of elation and disappointment. Elation because who doesn’t love 101 variations on monsters. Disappointment because technically there are 101 variant monsters, however, wisely using economy of effort Rite Publishing has re-used several of the variant abilities these monsters have (several time throughout the book) making the 101 number seem like much less.

Rite Publishing has proven over and over again that they know what they are doing, they have their layouts down pat, generally make good art decisions and their content can stand up to just about any other game company out there. This book takes what I call a small entry approach to these variant monsters. Imagine the typical entry you would find in a bestiary or monster manual; then cut those typical entries down by half or even a quarter. There is quite a bit of information that can be omitted because these are not new creatures, just variations on existing creatures. These creature entries do not include the normal or base creature’s statistics, so this book must be used in conjunction with the regular Bestiaries. I am a much bigger fan of products like this when they can stand alone, but the addition of stat blocks would have greatly increased the length and cost of this product. A spread sheet at the end might have answered the mail without adding too many pages.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
101 Variant Monsters (PFRPG)
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Pathways #30 (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/16/2013 04:38:54
An Endzeitgeist.com review

The latest installment of Rite Publishing's e-zine is 41 pages long, 1 page front cover, 12 pages of advertisement, 1 page ToC and 1 page SRD, leaving us with 26 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



We kick off this e-zine with David Paul's editorial, providing an after Gencon-report for guys like yours truly who couldn't attend as well as pointing towards some great offerings out there.



This issue's sample creature should tickle a soft spot of all aficionados of Lovecraftian terrors and weirdness with the many-angled creature: Clocking in at CR +1, these creatures can be confused by mundane tasks and may actually transmit the depersonalization-insanity when being looked at (provided as well). Worse, they may deflect attacks back on attackers (ouch!) and force negative conditions on foes depending on the CR of the base creature. The base-creature provided is a CR 20 sample shoggoth lavishly illustrated by Richy Sampson.



Now Raging Swan Press goes uncommonly WEIRD this time around - we get a fully-detailed Storm Giant Pirate at CR 19 - which would be cool in and of itself. But add the WERE-TYRANNOSAURUS-affliction to it and we get pure awesomeness - especially since we get stats for both humanoid and hybrid forms! Awesome!



Now one of my gripes with the otherwise cool Jotunar-race from "In the Company of Monsters" was the lack of alternate racial traits. If you're not familiar with the race, basic race traits are provided as a nice sneak-peek. 17 alternate traits are provided for the race and they actually are rather interesting - allowing you to embrace the cultural concepts of Vrid and Osoem and playing up their larger than life nature, Jotunar benefit greatly from these alternate racial traits - also due to some traits that offer powerful benefits like coup-de-grâceing foes as a move-equivalent action without provoking AoOs, but only once per week.



The excellent village of Longbridge (which I've btw. also reviewed) also gets a preview in here, wetting your palate for the neat full product. After that, we're actually off to an article, by Liz Winters, on the new software by Lone Wolf (you know the company via Herolabs, don't you?), Realm Works - if you don't know about the software, be sure to check this article out!



After that, we're off to this issue's interview, this time with Legendary Games' awesome Jason Nelson, providing not only valuable advice for freelancers, but also offering a neat array of insights into the genesis of the all-star team of Legendary Games and their plans for the future. Be sure to check out this interview!



Finally, the pdf provides a cream of the crop-selection of reviews by Joshua Gullion (also known as KTFish7) and yours truly.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to RiP's two-column, full color standard and the pdf comes with full bookmarks for your convenience.



This installment of Rite Publishing's Pathways continues the tradition of providing excellent content for the most affordable price possible - none. Though something is different here: On OBS, you can actually tip the crew behind this e-zine, if you enjoyed the offering herein via "Pay-what-you-want". So yeah, this is most definitely worth your HD-space and if you care to, tip the fellows. My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Pathways #30 (PFRPG)
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1001 Spells (PFRPG)
by austin t. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/14/2013 22:40:03
great book really rounds out the spell list by giving some low lvl versions of higher level spells

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
1001 Spells (PFRPG)
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20 Variant Foes: Red Dragons (PFRPG)
by Trev W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/14/2013 04:28:37
Red Dragons have always been the hard and heavy hitting dragons for parties, capable of taking all players to an early demise if they are not careful and lucky. Evil and without real flaws, reds are a challenge. I am pleased to report that the challenge continues here.

The reds presented over 31 pages, with added pages for templates and additional material, are not all uniform in appearance. These are not just the same dragon with different stats. Some of the art is rather captivating (Inferna and Fadow), and I appreciate that although the dragons start with the CR of 30, they descend until they reach CR 3. So there is a dragon for all parties, and the real possibility that many dragons could be used over the course of a campaign, i.e. a game to hunt the ten red dragons of doom, for instance.

Some of the dragons have levels, granting them different abilities to the norm. I chuckled at the ninja dragon, the CR 10 invulnerable ranger dragon has some really nice damage, and each dragon comes with description, background material, some notes and points on tactics and special abilities.

I give this 4/5. It should be noted the Unja the dragon on the cover, is not actually the best looking dragon inside the product (I vote Inferna).


Good hunting!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
20 Variant Foes: Red Dragons (PFRPG)
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#30 More Manuals of Improvement (PFRPG)
by Trev W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/14/2013 04:03:56
This is the good stuff. A type of add-on book that can lead to completely reconsidering magic items in your setting. Getting away from blandness, the tomes and manuals offer bonuses, but require study, sometimes lengthy study over an adventurer’s career for multiple tiers of granted bonuses and abilities. They allow bonuses and the shaping of a character that has collected any of these magical books (and meets the pre-reqs to unlock the higher abilities). They are confined to specific areas, and there is no “get better overall” book. By default, they are for one use, so no passing them around the party so that everyone has the same bonuses. A DM could of course change this as need be.

A dm can pass these along to a heroic player that has earned a special type of bonus by defeating a specific foe or dungeon. These manuals could be used to improve a character in an area a player is focusing upon and to be perfectly tailored loot, or, they could be used to ensure some players are a little more skilled for something coming up ahead (then spread a few of these into the loot for a party).

I would just go 4/5 stars for a well executed product, but I especially liked some of the books, and the fluff and bonuses that go with them. Examples of the books that I liked are:
Ride Out! Which even summons a docile mount and of course improves riding abilities.

Tapping into your Life Energy, which sounds very much like a self help book, but boosts ki points and grants really powerful bonuses to ki users.

Lastly, There Goes Your Sword, which is naturally about disarming and grants some massive bonuses with expert study.

For gunslinger players, there is The Way of the Gun (which reminds me of a chapter in Lone Wolf and Cub), there are also books for spellcasters and druids. Mostly though, it is highly useful for melee classes and skill users looking for a specific edge.

With added humour, nice illustrations and well-thought out items to grant bonuses, I give this product 5/5.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
#30 More Manuals of Improvement (PFRPG)
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1001 Spells (PFRPG)
by Samuel W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/13/2013 19:51:31
This is an excellent resource for spells; not only for pathfinders but for other game types as well. It's easy to use, well laid out, and is easy to translate into other tabletop rpgs. Is it worth the $20 price tag? I'm not sure, I bought it while it was on sale. But I've definitely enough use out of it to justify the purchase.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
1001 Spells (PFRPG)
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10 Anti-Paladin Magic Items (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/13/2013 06:05:02
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This supplement is 11 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 2 pages of advertisement, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



We kick this pdf off with 2 new weapon qualities - spiteful and tormenting. And yes, they are as pleasant as they sound: Spiteful weaponry allows you to 3/day as an immediate action use touch of corruption plus his cruelty class feature on foes that hit him/her -provided, of course, the character still has uses left. Tormenting weapons can hamper foes with pain if they are hit (thankfully with a scaling save-DC) and antipaladins actually can draw strength from the pain they thus inflict for a temporary buff.



The first full-blown item, like two others, actually comes in multiple versions (lesser, greater, superior), adding to the value of the pdf. The first item in question would be the Boots of the Craven, which take the unutilized cowardliness of anti-paladins and allow these guys to catch others and drag them with them to their doom or move with foes - which per se is cool, though "get a direct bead on someone" is an expression I don't know and dictionaries yielded nothing but those definitions I already knew, so I assume there's a typo here - not a crucial one, mind you, but it's there.



The second item coming in multiple versions would be the bracers of vile tactics, which allow you to e.g. not provoke AoOs when using dirty trick and make the penalties gained via the maneuver last longer, use dirty trick as part of regular attacks or, in the case of the superior version, forego smite bonus damage for +1/2 foregone damage to CMB when using dirty trick. I'm not sure, though, how long this bonus lasts. While the item specifies that the effects of smite evil return to normal in the following round, nothing is said about how long the bonus to dirty tricks lasts.



The third item coming in multiple qualities would be the Tabard of Malicious Metamagic, which allows the anti-paladin in question to prepare chaotic and evil spells at a lower metamagic level adjustment and the improved versions net access to metamagic feats only usable for chaotic/evil spells. There is also a pair of gauntlets, which only works on a target that meets special conditions, but makes it possible for antipaladins to take these targets hostage and teleport them away/execute them - nasty indeed. Also rather evil - a helmet that allows the character to 3/day use touch of corruption and/or cruelties. Rings of Betrayal are also nasty - these rings come in pairs and seem to be rings of shield other - until the antipalaldin wearing one activates them and forces an undismissable shield other effect on the target - oh, and the ring turns cursed. Gleefully evil.



The final regular item would be the Vestments of Ill Repute, which net an anti-paladin neat bonuses every time they perform dishonorable attacks - and yes, these are rather well-defined. The pdf also provides us Harnskarr "The Vicious Storm" - a legacy weapon that not only was created by the legendary weapon smith Iron Star Illith for usage in the Coliseum Morpheuon and provides a variety of really nasty enchantments that will make the foes of the wielder rue the day they crossed him/her.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are less tight than I've come to expect from Rite Publishing - I e.g. noticed an instance of a "who" or a similar sentence fragment missing and some wordings could have been slightly more precise. Layout adheres to RiP's 2-column, full-color standard and features some disturbing, awesome artworks. The pdf comes fully bookmarked - two thumbs up for that.



Anti-paladins haven't gotten as much as I would have liked and the 8 new magical items (more with all the varieties) and 2 new qualities (3 if you count the legacy weapon's Deed Breaker-metal) make for nice content for a more than fair price - some rather deadly tools to make the do-gooders despair. My final verdict will clock in at a final verdict of 4 stars for a cool collection of items with some minor rough edges.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
10 Anti-Paladin Magic Items (PFRPG)
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