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Rite Map Pack: River Rapids
by Joe K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/29/2014 20:59:24
When it comes to map packs, in the digital age, the consumers are fortunate enough to have a lot of variety. I've used some Fiery Dragon and some Skeleton Key Games before. The only bad thing about such maps, and it's true of this one as well, is they can be ink intensive.

The good news here is that the map comes in two formats, one full color and one in black and white.

For me, I instantly thought of a certain old warhammer adventure that is on a river. Rivers are a popular place for 'dramatic' turning points. They're often a huge part of historical battles acting as a barrier or waiting until it's low enough to cross or knowing of a crossing.

The art on these is top notch and if this specific map is one you're looking for, it's well worth getting. The fact that it's scaled for 1" per grid makes it easy to use with Pathfinder or other games that use "each square equal 5'.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Rite Map Pack: River Rapids
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Magus of the Jade Oath (PFRPG)
by Trev W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/23/2014 01:09:14
The magus is a potent class in Pathfinder, and this product is all about giving more options, powers and backgrounds for a magus player. The catch is that it is all Eastern themed, so it works for Jade Regent games, and any of the Eastern settings being played, but may not fit for every gaming group. Whether you are for eastern fantasy or against it, this book knows what it is about and sticks to it.
We begin with a flail wielding eastern warrior, that looks they are trudging through the Vale in Game of Thrones. Then you realise that this may indeed be a labour of love. You see the creators have renamed themselves with titles such as Jade Mandarin and Lowly Farm Peasant. Very entertaining, I like a bit of humour in gaming products.
As it moves to explain how the magus fits into an eastern setting, it all makes sense. The magus allows the designers to mix martial arts, myths and magic into playable character! This is an incredibly good idea, and answers the question of “why can’t fighters have nice things with”, that has been raised in the Pathfinder hobby with “well they can be magic using martial artist magi.”
I continue, eager to find out more. It presents a number of magi organisations, secret societies, schools, celestial guards and alliances which each have a focus and character. The Golden Bat and Thunderous Cricket alliance sounds excellent and very fitting.
Then we arrive at more options and new archetypes. For the manipulators of mechanics, this will be what they are looking for. I quite liked quick draught and Akashic (blind) sight. A very useful ability, that even accords with mythic techniques from Asian martial arts. For those that like defensive builds, the web of defence 7th level ability of the threadcaster is very nice. There are also a couple of spells including a very nice low level spell allowing the magus to take damage in the place of another pc that was about to be killed. Potentially, very useful for an adventuring party.
I give this 4/5. It mainly loses a point because while I liked it and it had a lot of depth and the producers were clearly interested in the subject material, some of the font choices make it a bit hard to read, and that troubles me.
Otherwise, great if you like the magus and want more on them, brilliant if you are running anything in an Eastern setting, perfect for creating new enemies or npcs that are different to what the players know and a rather nice and cheap book that is over 30 pages.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Magus of the Jade Oath (PFRPG)
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#30 Mercenary Companies (PFRPG)
by Trev W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/20/2014 02:06:34
From the front page and the first entertaining quote on a mercenary mocking adventurers, I knew this would be a good book.

I confess bias! I really like mercenaries. I put them in my games, I’ve got an interest in the Condottieri and the history of mercenaries and warrior tribes that fought for profit since ancient times. So I was really looking forward to going through the pages, but I also had high expectations. I want mercs done right, I want interesting leaders, and I don’t want clones of Daario Naharis everywhere—they have to have character the companies must have invigorating stories with a discussion of their speciality, background and appearance. This book didn’t disappoint, it covered exactly what I wanted.

As we proceed through we move through many different types of mercenary bands, and they have different motivations and leaders. It also gives their HQ and strength, characteristics and abilities, making them easily able to come in as allies or enemies to a campaign. One even has a song in the description, which makes a lot of sense for a mercenary company. It is great to see so much detail describing their uniforms and banners.

Of note, the pictures are actually very colourful. This gives a sense of life and certainly not dreariness or “Grim-dark” in this product. There are a few spelling and formatting errors in the piece, so I feel it should have been edited just a little more closely.

My favourite company is the Fins of Blood, and I would definitely put them in a maritime game. Second would definitely be the Wolflings, and a company of Lycanthropes is an excellent idea. The Dwarf cavalry are also very interesting. The Motlies would fit into dangerous border regions and a lot of quests concerning hunting fugitives could be tied to them.

5/5
It gave me more than I wanted and my high expectations were reached. Get into it if you like mercenaries and want some ideas for roving groups of highly varied combatants for your games. The price is also crazy good.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
#30 Mercenary Companies (PFRPG)
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Rite Map Pack: River Rapids
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/14/2014 04:25:46
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This map-pack is 35 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 16 pages of full-color map and 16 of the same as b/w.



So this would be a new gorgeous full color map with a gorgeous grid - so what is on this map? We get a river, full of dynamic-looking foam and different depths, with several large rocks jutting out of it and a short section of sands on both sides - at least up to the beaver dam that can be found in the upper third of the river - the river making its way through two massive breaches in the dam.



The maps come with a grid.



Conclusion:

Water is hard to get right on maps and Tommi Salama creates water that is gorgeous - whether the dam, the jutting rocks - this map is beautiful indeed and the pdf comes fully bookmarked, which is a definite plus. This map-pack is gorgeous - Tommi Salama can be considered the heir apparent of map legend Jonathan Roberts if this pdf is any indicator. Now, personally, I think a version sans grids (or with hex-grids) would have been nice to have, but all in all, that's not enough to rate this down a whole star - hence, my final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Rite Map Pack: River Rapids
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Gossamer Worlds: Verse Arcanum (Diceless)
by Mark K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/13/2014 20:11:57
Matt Banach is back with another Gossamer World and this is one of my favorites. Gossamer worlds full of fantasy tropes and wizard towers. I have created a similar one in my own Grand Stair and it was quite nice to see the details that Matt picked up on with Gossamer World: Verse Arcanum.

I have to say that the writing in these little source books keep getting better and better. I even have a favorite passage from this one that reads "would produce inevitable and acrimonious conflict between covetous claimants". Such an awesome descriptive passage and the little book packs these in all the way through giving a layered, textured feel to the world.

I especially like the approach given in here of how many of the Gossamer Lords and Ladies have infiltrated this realm and that they are seen as a threat by the local denizens. They are disgusted by the gaudy towers erected by these interlopers and some of the denizens even have the power to do something about them. I especially like the narrative characters discussion on his own tower and I can see the point of the natives.

This is a world filled with elves, dwarves, humans. There is a touch of Tolkien, a bit of Asgaard and even the fey realms to keep you on your toes. I even think there may be a tongue in cheek reference to disc world in this one if you can find it.

This one is a nice little fun romp into fantasy. It has some beautiful descriptions in it and the art suits it fantastically as well. Great work Matt Banach, I look forward to your next one. If you are looking for inspiration have a look at my NPC's and steal a world from there :) That would be awesome! Anyhow, everybody buy this book. It is fantastic. 5 out of 5 missing dice!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gossamer Worlds: Verse Arcanum (Diceless)
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#30 Mercenary Companies (PFRPG)
by Mark K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/13/2014 19:02:25
I have come across one of the best little books that I have seen for my Pathfinder Campaigns in a long time. It is called #30 Mercenary Companies written by Liz Smith and released by Rite Publishing. It suits my game down to the ground as I have not yet really taken the time to develop any mercenary companies for my games and so this slots in perfectly.

Forget what you know about mercenary companies too! I love some of the companies that are presented here as they are so inventive. A mercenary company full of summoners for example! I never would have thought of that and I would have stayed with the grizzled veteran stereotypes that most people immediately think of when they think of mercenaries.

The book is precisely what it says on the cover. 30 mercenary companies set out in a standard format that have interrelations and rivalries in some. All of them would be great to take straight out of the book and drop straight into a running campaign. The format of the companies I love as there is a section that allows information about the company to be revealed based on (I am assuming but it is what I would do) a Knowledge (Local) check. Directly after that there is a paragraph or two of personal text direct from someone in the unit so you can get a feel for the group. These are all excellently written and provide a great deal of information for the GM.

Finally, the artwork in this book is beautiful and plentiful. The art is Public Domain and they have done a brilliant job in sourcing such a finely themed group of artwork for this booklet with an image practically on every page.

There is nothing more to it. This is a brilliant collection of mercenary companies and it is a book that I will use over and over again. I cannot recommend it more at the grand old price of $2.95 USD you should all go get a copy right now. I give this book 5 out of 5 crossed swords. Keep rolling!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
#30 Mercenary Companies (PFRPG)
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Gossamer Worlds: The Nightmare Kingdom (Diceless)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/13/2014 03:34:13
An Endzeitgeist.com review

The third in Rite Publishing's series showcasing the infinite worlds of the Grand Stair, this one clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, leaving 9 pages of content, so let's take a look!



So what is the Nightmare Kingdom? Well, the nightmare kingdom is, as the in-character narrative postulates...strange. Even for the Grand Stair. There is a theory postulated (which may or may not be true) that the Nightmare Kingdom can actually reach places without using the Grand Stair, drifting through shadows and luring unsuspecting beings in. Touching the infinite worlds via closets and subverting doors, the hellish conglomerate of the fears of a thousand times thousand worlds is a domain, yes, but it is also a curse that may actually claim characters as its master...though the current master/slave of the realm, the entity known as the Ghoul, might not take kindly to such an intrusion. Fears made flesh, the boogeymen, which can include anything from the legendary man with red hands to cthonic horrors, the slender man or just about any other dreadful creature you can concieve, populate this deadly place and hence, 3 different takes on handling horror in LoGaS are provided herein for a given group to use.



And yes, tinseltown Hollywood, a Stephen King-inspired small town in Maine and the dark, dark cousin of NYC are provided as sample places that exist physically in the Nightmare Kingdom. Have I mentioned that in this world, psychic sustenance actually may nourish you, heal wounds and even change reality via the shaping of fears?



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to LoGaS' 2-column full color standard and the artworks by Trung Ta Ha, Liew, Henry Toogood, Malcolm McClinton and Vince Ptitvine are glorious - I have seen neither before and think at least the cover is original - in any way, they are GLORIOUS and drive home the creepy atmosphere of this world.



Matt Banach's Nightmare Kingdom, indebted to Ravenloft in concept and flourish, makes for a great, terrible place to introduce to one's campaign and offers infinite potential for deadly horror of all shapes and forms in your LoGaS-game - combined with the great mechanics and writing, I'll settle for a final verdict of 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Gossamer Worlds: The Nightmare Kingdom (Diceless)
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Fantastic Maps: Square Rigger
by Ryan L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/10/2014 10:00:31
The artwork of the map itself is very nice, and it is a very functional ship. The problem is that the layout of the pages and the positioning of the ship is very inefficient for printing. The majority of the pages are nothing but open water, and the ship itself is broken down in to many small sections that need to be pieced together. This requires about double the number of pages than other ship maps I have, and you will be printing a LOT of empty blue ocean. There is a B&W version included to avoid so much blue ink, but removing the color of the ship also removes much of the personality. Look at the previews, but unless this ship is EXACTLY the layout you need, I would look elsewhere for a map that is easier to work with.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Fantastic Maps: Square Rigger
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#30 Mercenary Companies (PFRPG)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/05/2014 09:11:21
Whether the party wants to enlist, is going to fight beside (or against) them or just meets them off-duty in a tavern one evening, mercenary bands are a feature of the quasi-mediaeval scene in which most fantasy games are set. Few nations had much of a standing army and so when they wished to war, mercenaries would be hired to fill out those patriots who rallied to the flag. When not in employment, many were little better than bandits, using their military skills to 'acquire' what they needed to survive.

Here is a selection of mercenary bands for the characters to encounter. Each comes with a detailed description covering their nature, particular style of operation and even their uniforms! You can also find out about resoures, leadership and organisation, and the necessary statistics for those wanting to use them in battles.

They're all quite flavoursome, from a band whose commander is a bard as likely to sing of past adventures as to lead them to new ones to a bunch called Dragons Breath whose trademark combat style involves lots of alchemists fire. Some specialise in a particular type of operation, some are to be found manning ships and others will do whatever's required... provided that they are well paid. Apart from gold, their motivations vary, with some companies boasting a long and proud history, others are newcomers to the mercenary game or have a distinctly unsavoury reputation.

Whenever you have need of mercenaries - or even fancy a good tavern brawl - glance in here for a ready-made mercenary company to fit your requirements. Rumours of who has been seen where, a stray uniformed member found away from his fellows... there are a myriad of ways to incorporate these into your adventures, whether to advance the plot or as local colour.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
#30 Mercenary Companies (PFRPG)
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Rite Map Pack: Ocean Cave
by Chris H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/04/2014 01:49:06
Whether you need an oceanside cave for a pirate hideout, a mysterious cult, a sahuagin beachhead, or some other purpose, this map pack can help you out—as long as you don't need an extensive cave complex directly connected to the cave. There's plenty of ocean here for your skiff to be beset by aquatic ghouls or some such while others fight on land. There are a fairly limited range of situations in which this pack would be useful, but when you need it, it will look great on the table.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Rite Map Pack: Ocean Cave
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Lucien's Guide: The Black Files (Diceless)
by Mark K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/30/2014 17:16:17
Released last Thursday this is the latest supplement to hit the LoGaS line. Written by Rob Donoghue this source book offers up some of Lucien's (a major NPC of the Grand Stair) secretive and darker files that point to dangers or threats on the Stair that are little known. The cover of this book grabbed me as soon as I saw it and I was delighted to finally get my hands on this gem.

The book is broken up into a selection of files and they are largely themed to items and worlds that may have been affected by Typhonians at one time or another. The preface to the book talks about how many people attribute a lot to the effects of the Typhonian's and also talks about a possible Typhonian "event" that may have occurred. This makes for a really interesting introduction and gives some great insight into possible genesis events of the Grand Stair, even perhaps the purpose of the Stair.

There is a new mechanic introduced in this booklet that I have gotten excited about too. The mechanic is attached to domains and expands them to include "realms". Now a realm means that you can expand the scope of your domain to perhaps include other realities (like perhaps an astral realm, a fey realm etc) all overlaid to the current world. It would also suit the idea of different planes as set out in most fantasy RPG's. Also there is the option here to include interstellar communities and realms. This is worth the price of the book alone!

The book is very piecemeal by design. It contains compartmentalized information and it is very clear where sections start and end. It is a good format and one that I hope they return to, perhaps giving out more of the "Black Files" in the same format. As a format it also gives the GM the idea on how to and what to write in this way for their own adventures. I can already see my NPC Fambol the Kind trying to get his hands on as many of these as possible.

The art work is incredible and really adds some great visual prompts to the files being discussed. My absolute favourite is the picture of Tyran the Demon God. Check it out as he looks like a horrifying school girl with pigtails. I love it. It is possibly not the effect sought after but it made me giggle like a schoolgirl with pigtails and so it is my favourite picture followed by the image of Sophia.

So, after writing all of that I can see that I have had nothing bad to say at all about the book. Well then, it is obvious that my summary is about to say GO GET THIS BOOK. Lucien's Guide: The Black Files is another top quality addition to the Lords of Gossamer and Shadow dice-less role playing game and I give it 5 out of 5 horrifying school girl's with pigtails! What are you doing still reading. Go get the book!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Lucien's Guide: The Black Files (Diceless)
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Gossamer Worlds: Tetsujin Shogunate (Diceless)
by Mark K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/30/2014 00:00:03
Well, one got by me! I was advised by one of my players that the Lords of Gossamer and Shadow had a bundle available through Drive Thru RPG that gives you all of the Lords of Gossamer and Shadow books to date that have been released (it is great value by the way). I went and had a look and I spotted a book I did not have by Matt Banach. Rectifying that mistake I grabbed it and have just finished reading it.

The Tetsujin Shogunate Worlds book is an alternate Earth world where two alien races crashed into Earth, the Oni and the Kappa. They are warring races and that war has exploded across Earth. The Oni have taken much of humanity into slavery by using pheromones to enslave them whilst the Kappa have allied with the humans and are teaching them to make giant samurai robots to fight the Oni and take back the planet.

Yes, that is right. GIANT FREAKING ROBOTS FIGHTING ALIENS PEOPLE. Not sure I should review it any further. That sentence says it all. But I must continue. They are not just giant robots but giant robot samurai...

I just want to play it right now.

The world has a political edge to it all also and ninjas and an Eastern setting and (wipes drool from corner of the mouth) so much goodness all in one little 8 page book. The setting is great, and while I have been getting involved in eastern settings of late with the honor caste and effects I have found this twist on it exciting.

What I did want is more detail in the book. But the way that these are set up is really to give you just enough information to get the game rolling. They leave the blanks for you the GM to fill in. That is all good but I am not really a hundred percent confident with eastern traditions yet and a lot of political detail needs to be fleshed out in that regard so I would have liked to see maybe a list of houses or political factions that I could start to build on. I only know that the structure is built around the shogun, daimyo and the alliance with the Kappa from really one small part of the book and to do that justice I feel would require a lot of work on my part (I am a bit of a perfectionist though).

That said though this book is excellent. One of my favorite world books so far. It may just be the fact that I loved Pacific Rim that is urging me on here but I think it is a little deeper. In fact if I were to run this world in game I think I would focus a lot more on the ninja culture than I would on the giant robots that battle the Oni. Having stealth missions into the encampments of the Oni would make for a tense and drama filled game.

At a $1.49 for the Gossamer Worlds: Tetsujin Shogunate is definitely worth shelling out for. Matt Banach has done a great job of bringing a world based on an alternate history of our own to life and it is not going to break the bank. I give this book a healthy four giant samurai robots out of five!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Gossamer Worlds: Tetsujin Shogunate (Diceless)
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Gossamer Worlds: Empyrea (Diceless)
by Mark K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/29/2014 23:56:48
These world source books are a great little addition to the Lords of Gossamer and Shadow because they are short, descriptive and interesting. They make me want to read them and Matt Banach keeps me wanting more from every one of his little gems.

Empyrea is a Grecian styled world with a self styled all-powerful ruler. This ruler has seemingly been experimenting with the subjects of his domain by introducing nanotechnology genetic serums to make them become super-human. The serums are also likely to be reducing the ability for the normal people of the domain to be able to manipulate magical forces. Of course that does not stretch to the tyrants own children.

Of course I make it sound very sinister and it is not necessarily the state of things. The domain has many beautiful, powerful individuals and is surprisingly high tech though much of this technology is well hidden from view. The world is bright and beautiful and many impressive excesses can be experienced here.

The ruler of this world is not a Lord of Gossamer yet. He has only recently become aware of the existence of the Grand Stair and his first encounter with a Lord did not end well. So much so that the door into the world is kept secret and it can be quite a hostile place for people that are unknown. There is a great deal of technical and mystical surveillance on the populace and unknowns tend to be quickly identified and then they are closely watched.

I love this book for its connections to the idea of Olympus and some nice mythological additions that are built in both with sorcery and technology. The rules are basically invisible in this book with the standard domain table being included as the final portion of the book.

The material is very easy to read and the book will likely be devoured in under ten minutes. The details hide a lot of hooks for adventures and provides a good detail of the atmosphere of the world to include in the games that you run with a connection to this world. It is an interesting place to visit and a world that I had not really considered previously for my own game but who knows, it may well be a place my players will be visiting in the future. Get this book for your game, it is well worth it. 4 out of 5 bunches of cyber harpies!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Gossamer Worlds: Empyrea (Diceless)
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Gossamer Worlds: Brokeworld (Diceless)
by Mark K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/29/2014 23:54:55
Another world submitted to the Lords of Gossamer and Shadow collection known as Brokeworld. This addition comes from Matt Banach and had me very interested in it soon after reading the first few details of the source book.

This world is a dumping ground where many other Gossamer worlds rubbish is deposited. I like this idea a lot because it is the basis for my own game that I am developing known as Detritus (you can find posts about it on this blog). I was excited to see that this idea was included here for Lords of Gossamer and shadow so read on with my interest piqued.

There are some interesting details to be found here but I was very disappointed to find the book end after only a few short pages. A world that has such possibility with the possibilities of numerous interesting locales and theories as to why things end up there, but there is little to find here in that regard. The book finishes with the mandatory domain details but in my opinion this realm could have been so much more.

There are some nice touches like how the original inhabitants of the realm are becoming more and more disfigured as well as the Gremlins. They are a really nice addition to the world as well as the possibilities listed for the rest of the Grand Stair.

So, in summary you will get a short source book that has a lot of potential though much of the potential is lost with too few details. Of course, as a GM this gives you the opportunity to fill it with everything you want but I just can't help but want more from this book. Overall I give it three huge mounds of rubble out of five.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Gossamer Worlds: Brokeworld (Diceless)
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Convergent Paths: Clerics of the Cloth (PFRPG)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/28/2014 03:17:13
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of RiP's Convergent Paths-series is 14 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 11 pages of content, so let's take a look!



We kick off the pdf with a simple archetype - unarmored clerics. These guys don't get the proficiencies with armors or shields, but when not heavily encumbered and unarmed, they get wis-mod to AC and CMD, also applying the bonus when flat-footed and against touch attacks. When under fear-related conditions or confused, these bonuses are negated and they don't stack with other wis-to-AC-abilities. Generally nice, if a bit weak - especially at medium to high levels, an additional benefit could help.



The Devout Exemplar archetype loses armor and shield proficiencies and only gets one domain. Instead, they get the ability to blink to the deity's plane for 3+Wis-mod rounds per day, phasing rapidly between the deity's plane and the prime material. In the after math, the exemplar is fatigued for 2 rounds per round spent phasing. While phasing, the exemplar has a 50% miss chance and even this chance to be missed by targeted spells. They also have a 20% chance to miss themselves, which extends to their own spells. While phasing back and forth, they take only half damage from AoE-effects, falling etc. and they may even interact with potential creatures on that plane. Blind Fight doesn't help against phasing, but dimensionally locking the exemplar does. At high levels, the exemplar may stay on the deity's plane. Starting at first level, they also choose one of 3 training regimens - strength, speed or stamina. This supersedes the usual praying for spells and additionally an ability at 2nd level and every 4 levels thereafter. Beyond the general benefit of the regiment (like using class level for CMB regarding one maneuver chosen per day), these include lessened penalties for age, wis-mod to CMB 1/day/creature, vastly increased thrown weapon range (but lost str-bonus beyond increment 5), better climbing or more carrying capacity, to name a few.

Exemplars devoted to speed can tumble via acrobatics at full speed at half the penalty, get better reflexes or no penalties when in tight conditions etc, while stamina training helps with armor check penalties, can lessen fatigue incurred by their blinking (or rage!) and also gets a recovery trance that lets them reroll fort-saves at +2, potentially even negating the initial failed save. The latter is a tad bit too strong for my tastes since it retcons the initial effects and has no limitation apart from one roll per condition per 24 hours. Each regiment also provides a +2 capstone-bonus to the attribute of their regime at 20th level as long as they maintain training. Finally, they get a +1 dodge bonus to AC while wearing no armor/shield, scaling up to +5.



Next up would be the Missionary Priest, who also get wis-mod to AC/CMD (with same caveats) and a studied creature type (somewhat favored enemy style), but with more focused on social/knowledge skills. These races also determine when the missionary's special abilities kick in - these are linear and offer no selection, allowing for additional AC-bonuses, 5-foot-steps, use aid another vs. AC 20 to negate AoOs and finally, faster coup-de-gracing. I like the idea here, but the execution feels a bit too linear and could have used a bit more variety.



The next archetype would be the Sacerdos (plural Sacerdotes). These also get the AC/CMD-bonus in lieu of armor/shield proficiency and at 2nd level and every 4 levels thereafter, these guys and gals learn a sacred rite, which can perform as a full-round action that incurs an AoO - unlike regular channeling. Each rite allows the Sacerdos to replace a set amount of channel dice with another effect, which lasts for one round unless otherwise mentioned. Only one rite may be used to modify one channel attempt (unless you take the new Augment Rite-feat), though the rite can replace all channel dice, thus cancelling the standard (or variant) channeling effect the act would usually result in. The channel effects can improve/hinder critical hit-confirmation, render foes blind/dazzled, grant energy resistance and a whole slew of other cool, tactical options. All in all, one damn cool archetype, though I wished it had much, much more rites available - for more versatile builds. This one's definitely a candidate for a full-blown pdf of its own - perhaps with divine channeler-synergy?.



The new feats allow the respective archetypes to e.g. wilder in other training regimes, get more rites, target creatures excluded with selective channeling with other effects, partial access to (sub-) domains etc. - some coolness in here, especially if you wanted more synergy with variant channeling - all the metamagic fun etc. is in here - at times balanced by e.g. staggering you or in the case of maximizing the effect, limiting the channel to you. One feat hit a pet-peeve of mine - as a swift action, it buffs your weapon and makes it aligned, which is very strong - especially since the feat has NO LIMITS. Some generous, but existing limits or the alignment effect coming it at higher levels would be very much prudent in my book.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good - I noticed next to no glitches and those I found were typos and didn't impede my ability to understand the content. Layout adheres to RiP's old two-column full-color standard. Artwork, as far as I could tell, is thematically-fitting stock art and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.



Thomas LeBlanc is a talented designer - when I read this, I expected yet another slew of uninspired cleric/monk rip-offs, but instead, he delivers! The Divine Exemplar's blinking, the Sacerdotes and their rites - I love those two to death (they could imho carry their own books each - and would deserve more fodder!) and the channel-themed feats are also nice additions to the game. I was quite disappointed by the missionary, and I do consider some minor pieces of crunch to be somewhat problematic - these remain the absolute minority, though. In the end, this pdf misses the 5 stars only by a margin, resulting in a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 due to the low, fair price and the nice fluff that kicks off each feat, each archetype. Now when do the exemplar and sacerdotes get more tools?

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Convergent Paths: Clerics of the Cloth (PFRPG)
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