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[PFRPG] Player's Options: The Infinyte
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/04/2014 04:35:11
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Player's Option-series clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1.5 pages of SRD, leaving us with 6.5 pages of content, so let's take a look at the Infinyte!



The Infinyte needs to be non-evil with a neutral component and is a 20-level base class that receives proficiency in light and medium armor, shields, martial and simple weapons, full BAB-progression, d10 HD, 4+Int skills per level and good fort-saves.



The Infinyte is also interesting in that the class is built around the hero point system - as champions of the multiverse, they may detect law and chaos and suffer from an interesting quirk: Proximity to other members of their class turns out to be detrimental to their well-being. Now these beings also, much like brooding heroes, receive a side-kick, a so-called consort that strengthens the resolve and prowess of the Infinyte. Now to offset that, DM's receive hero points as well to challenge the infinyte - why? Because the class receives so-called eternal hero points - which REGENERATE. Yeah. Ouch. While not as strong as Arcana Evolved's hero points, PFRPG hero points can still be used to cheat death...



Beyond that, Infinityes can also scavenge in ANY class feature, any class ability via incarnate memory -one at 1st, 5th, 9th, 13th and 17th level - this translates to recalling a talent from a previous incarnation - and can be either a class ability, a feat or skills - in any way, the nigh-non-existent progression makes this cherry-picking kind of workable - a total of 5 levels progression isn't that impressive. Feat-wise, the Infinyte counts as all classes for the purpose of this ability - however, weirdly, the text contradicts itself, once excluding races and once claiming that the infinyte counts as all races for the purposes of taking feats via this ability Some clarification would be in order here. The same goes for the rest of the ability, which, while understandable, could require some explicit statements regarding e.g. saves based on character/class level not scaling (or do they?) etc.



The Infinyte also increases hero points maximu, gains an increasing amount of rerolls of d20s etc. - so far, so good. Where any semblance of balance jumps out of the window would be via the option to, a limited amount of times per day, starting at 6th level and scaling upwards, take a additional round worth of actions - at any point in the initiative order. Not even an action. Not even an immediate action. Urgh. Compared to that, the alignment-spell immunity at 20th level and the DR gained feel a bit like a letdowner of a capstone. Especially when taking into account that the class essentially receives an item of power, a kind of DiY-scaling legendary item that you can develop over the levels - which is awesome. 3 sample items are provided with their level-assigned benefits to give you an idea here.



2 new, hero point based-feats for the infinyte are also provided, as is a comprehensive explanation of the hero point system and a sample level 1 NPC.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are good, if not perfect -a tad bit more streamlining regarding the rules would really help this class. Layout adheres to PDG's printer-friendly 2-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked in spite of its brevity - nice.



Perry Fehr's Infinyte is...AWESOME. Yeah, I know what you're thinking - 2 hero points = cheat death, lot of rerolls, scavenging in weird class abilities...regenerating hero points...how can this be balanced? Well, it kind of is and isn't. The issue is complex, so hear me out - on the one hand, the ability/feat-wildering requires tighter wording, but is damn close to working as *intended.* What do I mean by that? This class represents a champion of the multiverse, a born hero of reality. It is kind of supposed to be a bit off the chains and by its very fluff, it makes the class rather central to a group, which ought to be cleared with all involved, especially the other players. Otherwise, the constant death-cheating will feel unfair.



Now that being said - this class represents a capital H HERO, a champion with all the associated makings - sidekick, nemesis, heirloom item of power, strange tricks no one else can do... I *love* this guy. That being said, beyond aforementioned wording issues, the bonus round should at least cost an action and probably...should be severely restricted. If some kind of time limit beyond the generous hero point regeneration is applied to the amount of times they can cheat death (perhaps based on cha? on HD? Perhaps class level x 1/2?), I would actually see me allow these guys in my game. This, in spite of the relative brevity (if you take away the hero point-explanation, this is short!), should be considered one of the finest classes to come out of the Player's Option-series so far - one intended for mature and high-power groups and players that don't wish to hog the spotlight and certainly not a class for every campaign or group, but also a class unlike any I've encountered so far - in a good way. This has all the makings of a 5 star + seal of approval class, but due to the glitches still present, I will settle, at least for now, on a final verdict of 3.5 stars, rounded down by a margin to 3...and remain very expectant of the version in the final book - with some polish, this is a gem.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
[PFRPG] Player's Options: The Infinyte
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[PFRPG] Player's Options: The Hetaera
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/08/2014 03:23:31
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This new class clocks in at 14 pages , 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1.5 pages of SRD, leaving us with 10.5 pages of content, so what does this class deliver?



The Hetaera gets d8, 6+int skills per level, a custom proficiency list (including light armors and bucklers), 3/$ BAB-progression, good ref- and will-saves and spontaneous divine spellcasting via Cha of up to 6th level spells from a custom list. Now what's VERY interesting is a very powerful ability, that still has a limit -service spell. Per spell level, she may cast +1 spell beyond her fixed allotted array- with a successful spellcraft check even one that she doesn't know, but is on her list. But ONLY if the spell provides a benefit for others for no personal compensation. Generally, that is a good way of making spellcasting less ego-centric and I applaud the intention behind this, but the execution is flawed. Take a buff that targets all in an area or an attack spell to prevent a killing stroke on the character to save innocents? Selfless or not? This ability has A LOT of roleplaying potential, but it needs a tighter definition to avoid sparking endless discussions at the table...



At almost every level (exceptions being the 4th, 7th, 13th, 16th, 19th and 20th), the Hetaera gets an endowment - the talents of the class, and partially they are interesting indeed - take "double-edged sword" - her current and former lovers treat her as one level higher for the purpose of healing, but also increase the DC versus damage-inducing spells by one. While this one could use some scaling, the concept is brilliant and offers quite a few grand roleplaying opportunities. Quite a few of the abilities presented here make the Hetaera a superb social face for the party - what about telling lies and allowing those you lied to use your bluff to convince strangers of the truth of your fabrication? Yeah. Poison Use, honeyed words or what about treating settlements as larger for the purpose of selling/buying items? It should also be noted that, in the tradition of talents/advanced talents, a hetaera's array of endowments is expanded upon 10th level to include more powerful ones.



Hetaera also get non-quantifiable boons from NPCs that go beyond even endowments, with ample examples given in the pdf to help a DM judge what's feasible and what isn't. Now at 7th level, the Hetaera can deliver spells 4+ cha-mod times per day via a kiss - they just have to have a range of touch. Oh, and yes, getting rules for kissing unwilling targets would have been nice here and can be considered an oversight, but the ability has another focus - the spells delivered thus do NOT count against her regular allotment of spells! Rather interesting and full of roleplaying potential - when crunch opens by virtue of its design story-threads, you know it has something going for it.



As a somewhat underwhelming capstone, the Hetaera gets a kiss of death, which is cool, yes, but the lack of rules for kissing unwilling targets (though I'd go with pinning if social guile doesn't work...) somewhat cripples it. The Hetaera's Spell-list is btw. thematically and spell-selection-wise solid - not too powerful and not too weak. Among the spells, which include the magical version of beer goggles (glorious) is also a level 1 spell that disrobes the target - which is crippling to armored warriors - 1/2 time to don afterwards? Congrats...That's a save-or-suck that needs some nerfing... Other than that, the sensuous and tasteful spells for heightened senses, and yes, even a genderbending spell that can be made permanent, are found herein. I'm sure some members of the LGBT-community or players who want to play such a character will greatly appreciate this one. I also like the spell that can summon a willing lover to your aid. As always, we also get a sample 1st level character.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to PDG's printer-friendly 2-column standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.



Patricia Willenborg's Hetaera...is so far my favorite class in the whole Player's Option-series. By a long shot. The Hetaera as a concept is GLORIOUS. The implementation is tasteful. And just about EVERY ABILITY of the class has some kind of roleplaying potential, all without the class being useless in rollplaying environments - though she definitely fits better into social situations. This is the class of divine secret agent meets femme/garçon fatal(e) you never knew you needed, but suddenly realize you damn well do - as if she's cast a spell on you... Kidding aside - this class breathes adventure potential and high intrigue, and while not too well suited for dungeon crawl campaigns (though she does work there as well!), in any other context, she shines. I'd immediately slap my 5 stars + seal of approval on this beauty, were it not for the small hickups, for example regarding the kisses, the somewhat lackluster definition of the service spells and the (slightly) overpowered disrobe-spell. Still, this class has potential galore and bespeaks of a talented designer, of whom I hope to see more. Final verdict: 4.5 stars, rounded down by a slight margin to 4.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
[PFRPG] Player's Options: The Hetaera
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[PFRPG] Player's Options: Half-Orcs
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/29/2014 11:16:02
Player’s Options: Half-Orcs begins with Orc-kith, those who have more distant orc blood, and the unhappy Sharukh, half dwarf and half orc, both look good mechanically but the Sharukh seems like a vanishingly rare creature. The eighteen new feats are primarily combat oriented, brutish charm being a notable and amusing exception, several of them are “storm” feats which can only be used in the first round of combat (and not in conjunction with each others) that are quite effective, despite the combat focus there is an interesting selection of way to customize a character here. The six flaws focus of the physical or psychological damage that being among the orcs can cause, most are unpleasant but not unreasonable. The equipment section is the weakest part of this product: an iron jaw to improve bite attacks, a better whip, a “human seeming” kit and scarification kit, what stands out is the idea of the arena mask (a customized helmet that identifying the fighter) is good but should it not provide a minor bonus to intimidation? While the equipment section is weak and the Sharukh seems unusably niche, the product as a whole is solid and worthwhile for those who make use of half-orcs in a campaign.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
[PFRPG] Player's Options: Half-Orcs
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[PFRPG] Player's Options: Half-Elves
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/29/2014 11:14:28
Player’s Options: Half-Elves provides Strandlings, half aquatic elves, and Wellens, children of a half-elven union, as their racial variants, both have good roleplaying potential and interesting mechanics though the Wellens’ enthusiastic ability, which can negate surprise, may be a little too powerful. Fifteen new feats emphasize the half-elven ability to adapt, though unpredictable behavior (which gives a combat bonus) and versatile hands (which help craft, preform and profession) may be a bit on the strong side. The eight flaws play off of either the physical or social effects of being of mixed heritage and can be useful to inspire roleplaying even if not used in full. The new equipment comprises a weaponized buckler, a bow that can be used as a melee weapon and a specialized type of rope, nothing ground breaking here. Overall, a useful set of ideas and options for half-elves and if they play a major part in your campaign world or you are a fan of playing them, this may be a worthwhile investment.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
[PFRPG] Player's Options: Half-Elves
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Flaws II
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/06/2014 10:11:23
Flaws are a neat tool to add dimension to a character which both grants mechanical benefits and provides a vehicle to enhance role-playing - and here is a whole bunch more of them to consider.

Some are based on the character's class, others are more personal flaws which anyone can take. Many provide ample opportunity for role-playing - Centre of Attention, perhaps, or Lovelorn. Others can be quite detrimental, like Cursed or Debtor.

The class-based ones are appropriate, from Druids who are wedded to an Ancient Orthodoxy that compels them to avoid metal items, Rangers afflicted with the Call of the Wild who find themselves fidgety and at a disadvantage in an urban setting, or even a Cleric who is a Heretic, not believing the orthodox 'truth' as preached by his religion.

Anyone might be Flirtacious or Competitive or downright Cruel...

A nice touch is that there is always a way to 'buy off' the flaw, generally by a combination of directed use of level-raise points and a spot of role-playing.

A neat collection to keep to hand when generating characters.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Flaws II
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[PFRPG] Player's Options: The Ayutthayan Monk
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/23/2014 11:19:16
At first glance you might think, so what? This is just a re-write of the standard fantasy monk. Perhaps it is, but where it scores is that the entire underlying philosophy and history of the Ayutthayan monks is wound through the game mechanics rather than being bolted on as an afterthought to explain what that monk is doing in your fantasy campaign world where there might not really be any of the sort of traditions that underpin a classic oriental unarmed fighting style. (I remember way back in the 1980s playing a D&D Monk as a Chinese person perpetually confused with the standard 'cod-European' fantasy world in which he found himself...)

Here the opening text paints the scene of a single adventurer who retired to a life of contemplation, but was pestered by visitors... some of whom stuck around to become his first disciples, and who - being themselves proponents of different fighting styles - created what became several different strands of the same core martial philosophy. These strands are reflected in the options available as class features as the monk rises in level - the ones you choose chart your progress in your preferred style. Some are acquired by means of mystical tattoos, a beautiful and traditional touch.

The combat styles are based on Thai martial arts and are described well, enabling each monk to develop a coherent - and potentially devastating - combat style. There is also a selection of feats and an array of new weapons appropriate for ayutthayan monks, a new tactical manoeuvre called a Bone Break and a sample character to let you try out this class or just give you some ideas to get you going.

If you want to play a monk, this is a good way to go because of the coherent background philosophy that underpins the mechanics of the styles available. Pick it up, mix it in to your campaign world's history and you do not need to explain how you came to be.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
[PFRPG] Player's Options: The Ayutthayan Monk
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CJ Ruby's Exploding Aces
by Andrew L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/04/2014 21:47:21
Looking forward to taking this book and it's unique system camping in the summer, perfect system for a pick up game with friends at the cottage.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CJ Ruby's Exploding Aces
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[PFRPG] Player's Options: Dwarves
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/21/2013 12:31:34
Player's Options: Dwarves from 4 Winds Publishing. It starts with presents two variant dwarf-kin: Half-dwarf (and half human), children of that rare crossbreeding with talents from both side, and Stone Dwarfs, who are even more closely tied to the element of earth than most dwarves, both useful for various sorts of stories. Fourteen new dwarven feats, including Dwarven Baritone (for the singing dwarves) and Exile, who fights with fury against those that drove them from their mountain home, this provides more options for customizing dwarves as do six flaws (as well as the rules for flaws). The product wraps up with new dwarven equipment including two new weapons and one type of armor, along with the dwarven made qualities for both armor and weapons, some dwarven food and drink, a musical instrument and a false beard (unfortunately called a merkin). This provides some useful additional choices for dwarven characters and some amusing items to use as treasures in abandoned dwarven ruins.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Note: Read more reviews and other gaming articles at my journal https://seaofstarsrpg.wordpress.com/

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
[PFRPG] Player's Options: Dwarves
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[PFRPG] Player's Options: The Shinobi
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/14/2013 06:12:19
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Player's Options-series is 10 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



The Shinobi base-class gets 3/4 BAB-progression, d8, 6+Int skills per level, good ref- and will-saves and proficiency in simple weapons, kunai, shuriken, bo staff and shinobigatana as well as light armors, but not shields.



The shinobi gets a cover identity at 1st level and an additional one at 5th, 9th, 13th and 17th level - said identity can be assumed via a disguise-check in 1 minute. The things is - the "ability" specifies that wielding weapons blows the cover - why? Some identities may actually REQUIRE weapons to properly portray. Also - what's the benefit of this whole ability? It doesn't do anything beyond regular proper uses of disguise on its own and essentially just works as a prerequisite for setting up other shinobi-abilities. I'm honestly baffled what this ability's benefit (on its own) is supposed to be - maintaining the identity does not confer any bonuses - it's just fluff. Shinobi also get 1/2 their level to Bluff, Disguise and Sense Motive. They may also improvise disguises in a mere 1d4 rounds - at -15. At least the penalty slowly diminishes by -5 increments to -10 at level 9 and -5 at level 17. But the thing is - at these levels, magic (items) do the disguise MUCH better already, allowing for full-blown transformations. Not sold, even though at 2nd level, they may make cover identity-related Profession and Knowledge-skill-checks as if trained + 1/2 class levels and at 3rd level, they may bluff truth-detecting magic while under cover. At 4th level, the ability-array starts to make sense, as the shinobi learns to change even alignment auras to match the cover personality.



At 2nd level and every 4 levels after that, the shinobi gets a bonus feat s/he must select from one chosen path of 7 - these allow the shinobi to learn alchemy, assassin tricks etc. Solid arrays of feats. Shinobi also get a ninjutsu trick at 1st level and every 2 levels after that from a selection of 17 available. More on these later.



At 4th level and every 4 levels after that, the shinobi also becomes a master of an exotic weapon. At 2nd level and every 3 levels thereafter, the shinbi gets a sneak attack progression. Poison use, skill bonuses and at 10th level, death attack, complement the picture of the secret agent/deep cover assassin.



Now I mentioned ninjutsu techniques - and these do include improved horsemanship, better bo-staff fighting, a lesser form of iaijutsu. Over all, these abilities are neat - though the shuriken specialization that nets +1 shuriken + 1 for every 6 levels may be rather powerful when handled properly. The capstone nets a relatively bland 4 ninjutsu tricks.



We also get 3 new shinobi weapons and 8 new feats - weird here - two feats allow for essentially what the poison use class feature already does. Oo Rather cool would be the option to disguise the effects of poison to make them more subtle. The other feats are actually nice!



We also get a half-elven shinobi as a sample level 1 character/pregen.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to PDG's 2-column b/w-standard and is rather printer-friendly. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.



Sean O' Connor's Shinobi is actually a nice a take on the secret agent style character, with per se interesting abilities, versatility etc. - as a ki-less ninja/rogue-like character, it works well within in cultural context. BUT: The disguise. Seriously, it's a tad bit too hard for a class this focused on it - why not offer some unique bonuses? High-level mystic enhancements? And why does it suffer from the HORRIBLE weapon caveat? I get the intention behind it, but it makes neither sense in-game, nor is the class so strong that the DM needs to enforce this at times senseless crippling of the central feature of the class. Note that my verdict will IGNORE the weapon-caveat. It's just unnecessary and I encourage you to do the same. Why? Because the class itself is actually fun!

If you take that away, you actually get a solid, fun class that should be considered a nice, more down-to-earth alternative for the ninja, well worth a final verdict of 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
[PFRPG] Player's Options: The Shinobi
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[PFRPG] Player's Options: Halflings
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/13/2013 14:57:06
Player’s Options: Halflings from 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming starts with a disclaimer that while fictional halflings drink and smoke and there are feats and flaw that relate to such in this product, the authors do not condone such behavior, which struck me as a little odd, but there you go. It then presents two variant halflings: Hidefeet, hardier stay-at-homes, and Willowbranch, adventurous and adaptable, useful for variety. A half-halfling template is provided for those odd crossbreeds, which I like in concept but the execution seems a little odd, as half-halflings, while usually larger than pure halflings, somehow are physically weaker than them, still a good idea that can be made to work. Fourteen new feats, including Frying Pan Mastery (for the combat cook) and Underfoot, allowing you to dodge between big people’s legs, provide more options for customizing halflings as do six flaws (as well as the rules for flaws). Lastly, new halfling equipment including two new sling variants, halfling staples (food, drink and pipeweed) and a few other useful things. Overall, a useful expansion for additional halfling options, if you have enough halflings in your campaign to need to expand them.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
[PFRPG] Player's Options: Halflings
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[PFRPG] Player's Options: Timebender
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/05/2013 03:44:30
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Player's Option-series is 8 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



Now what does this class get? Well, we're in for d10, 2+Int skills per level, proficiency with simple weapons and light and medium armor and light shields and full BAB as well as good ref-saves and fast movement scaling up from basic speed to +60 ft. movement rate at 20th level. Beyond these basics, timebenders get a so-called temporal pool equal to half class-level+int-mod. Said pool can either be refreshed via meditating for 1 hour or 10 minutes, though the latter requires precise measurement of time via a clock or hourglass.



Said points can be spent to gain int-mod as a dodge bonus to AC. Said points also interact with time-based spells, allowing the timebender to ignore detrimental effects of a very narrow selection of spells, while also allowing him/her to forgo benefits of haste to regain a point. Now the signature ability of the class would be the Temporal Flurry - by expending one point, the timebender may forgo his full round action, instead limiting the class to a standard action. However, the timbender creates echoes, which allow him/her to perform a standard action again at initiative -5 and at initiative -10. During a flurry, a timebender may only make unarmed, natural or light weapon-melee attack, use a move action requiring skill, use an extraordinary ability or take a move action. Any attacks made suffer from a -2 penalty and movements still provoke AoOs.



At 2nd level and every two levels after that, the timebender also gets a time control trick, which include access to e.g. evasion, the option to make ranged attacks in temporal flurries, a healing touch, improved AC and initiative - a total of 10 such tricks are provided. The more interesting effects allow the timebender to walk across liquid surfaces when temporal flurrying as long as temporal flurry ends on ground that may support his/her weight or spend pool points to act in surprise rounds or move up to movement as a swift action. Where personally, I'm drawing the line, is with "Shifting Step", which allows you to dimension door as a supernatural ability for 1 paltry pool point - that's a resource easily replenished, mind you. Via battle analysis, timebenders may prepare for battle, rolling initiative multiple times via the expenditure of pool points, using the best result. With one of the new feats, said ability may even be shared with allies.



At 3rd level, once until s/he meditates again, the timebender may spend 3 points from the pool to reroll any roll. At 5th level, the timebender also gets the ability to shift adversaries that fail a save after a touch attack into the future, taking them out of the action for at first a single round and later up to 1d4 + int-mod rounds. This ability is BROKEN. Taking a foe out of the combat as a supernatural action can and will terribly screw over plans, battle strategy and the amount of tricks one can build around it are rather extreme and can mean the difference between stunning victory and utter defeat - all based on one ability. With the timebender's supreme mobility, getting to casters and taking them out of the combat can and will royally screw over the opposition.



At 9th level, timebenders may also spend pool points to force a reroll upon a foe, useable once per meditation period. At 10th level, 10 advanced time control tricks are added to the equation, allowing timebenders to air walk and use the broken "propel into future"-ability at range. On the more balanced side, improved evasion, temporal flurry at initiative -15 or the option to use the most damaging strike as bleed damage on foes.



As a capstone, the timebender may spend 9 points to enact a time stop. We also get a nice level 1 sample character and 4 new feats: Careful Flurry feels rather strong, allowing you to forgo your last flurry attack for +2 to atk in addition to ignoring the usual -2 penalty - which is broken. That's a potential net gain of +4 per attack. To compare: regular iterative attacks suffer from decreased accuracy, whereas the temporal flurry does not - hence actually getting a bonus. Extra temporal pool points and time tricks are ok in my book.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to PDG's printer-friendly 2-column standard and the cover artwork is neat. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.



The Timebender is an interesting class, dealing with perhaps one of the most challenging concepts to properly implement in game mechanics and author Ron Lundeen goes an intriguing route here - Temporal Flurry takes a concept which I've applied to big singular boss monsters in my campaign and it did work rather well - but it also increased their potency. Now usually, I'd say temporal flurry is still balanced due to its massive restrictions, but getting rid of the flurry-penalty offsets the tiny bit of balance when compared to full-round actions - speaking of which: Timebenders can use temporal flurry for up to 3 attacks - all at full BAB-2 (or at straight full BAB), AT FIRST LEVEL. That's broken as all hell, even without the OP-feat to get rid of the penalty. And it doesn't really get better over the levels.



I really, really love the concept of the Timebender. I'm a huge fan of the Time Thief. But the execution is terribly flawed, mopping the floor with comparable classes and worst of all, in contrast to ninjas or monks, offering a way to easily, more easily so than the gunslinger, regain the primary resource that powers said abilities. Concept-wise, this is SO CLOSE to actually being really good, but its balancing is all wonky and would require the hand of a stern developer (and quite probably a complete redesign after that) to actually work. As written, I wouldn't allow this anywhere near my group. Phase order style combat works when employed by settings like Little Red Goblin Games' Necropunk, but when a class is the only one who can do it and thus outclass other martial classes, then we have a problem. As much as I love the premise of the class, as close as it may be to being awesome, as written, I can't recommend it and thus will settle for a final verdict of 1.5 stars, rounded down to 1 for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
[PFRPG] Player's Options: Timebender
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[PFRPG] Player's Options: Timebender
by Christen S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/02/2013 00:00:00
Players Option: Timebender presents a streamlined class with a tight array of combat related temporal effects. A primary melee combatant, its powers allow it to stagger its attacks throughout the round to gain increased versatility and accuracy. While this diminishes the comparable “Burst DPS” full attack actions against those of barbarians and power-attack themed fighters, it makes up for these dispersed amounts of damage by allowing for a series of standard actions to occur throughout the round. The strategic options and power to course-correct are dizzyingly cool. While enabling amazing movement options like selective time that allows the timebender to walk on water and even air, these “Temporal Flurry” actions bar spellcasting and most exploitable sequences my group could throw at them.

The class showcases “Time Control Tricks” and a few other time-themed core abilities to fill it out. While several of these abilities lean toward the strong end of balance (Such as the inflicted Re-Rolls of Forced Repetition or the temporary banishment of Shove Forward), a requisite of a high INT score places their usability in point buy games at a limited level. A player will likely have to focus on a damage dealer role or a controller role to excel at either but GMs should probably generally expect a balanced versatility more common to monks and rangers from this class.

A player missing some of the feel of 3.5’s Tome of Battle or one transitioning from 4e to Pathfinder will find this class a good fit with simple resource management mechanics and reusability. On the other hand, GMs running a time themed campaign will find it rounds out the ranks nicely. Other time magic products (Like Time Thief and Time Warden from RGG/SGG) have left the melee niche relatively untouched and the timebender blinks into that place nicely allowing for balanced parties of temporal reavers to vex your PCs.

A strong offering but its straight-forward mechanics prevent it from becoming too powerful, Players Options: Timebender is a 5-star addition for a GM already planning on a temporal magic element in their campaign.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
[PFRPG] Player's Options: The Sheriff
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/25/2013 03:31:23
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Player's Option series is 12 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 9 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



Mechanically, Sheriffs need to be lawful, get d20, 2+Int skills (the class could have used more skills per level, but oh well...), full BAB-progression, good fort-and will-saves, proficiency with all simple and martial weapons and all types of armor and shields, but not tower shields. They also get proficiency with swordbreaker daggers, or repeating crossbows or firearms as bonus feats at 1st level to reflect their training with weapons that can help bring in lawbreakers.

At 1st level, a sheriff chooses a so-called jurisdiction - a country or similar region for which s/he has jurisdiction. This results in a +1/2 class level bonus to diplomacy, knowledge (local), perception and sense motive while wearing his/her badge, but also a bad starting attitude when interacting with chaotic creatures. At 4th level and every 3 levels after that, her jurisdiction is acknowledged in an additional region - like famous investigators that develop fame on a scale that transcends borders.



Sheriffs at 1st level also need to decide on a precinct, which essentially provides them with guidelines and a code of conduct by which they operate. Each precinct nets additional class skills, bonus equipment and a particular special power. Furthermore, at 2nd, 8th and 14th level, they get an ability and at 3rd level and every 3 thereafter a bonus feat drawn from a precinct-specific list.



The sheriffs also learn taking others in alive and hence may choose from a selection of different +2 bonuses (e.g. to non-lethal damage, CMD to resist and CMB to perform dirty tricks etc.) at 5th level and again at 11th and 17th level. At 5th level, they may also declare a warrant on a foe, making him/her more powerful versus the targeted fugitive - not only combat, but also research-wise. This bloodhound-like tracking and investigating is further increased at 13th and 20th level, though the capstone's insistence of "further growth" of the warrant feature when talking about being able to have an active warrant on 3 foes at the same time makes me believe that the +1 warrant for 2 active warrants at 13th level was somehow lost.



Now what about those precincts I mentioned? A total of 5 are provided and they come with quite a slew of abilities: Bounty Hunters are essentially somewhat akin to rangers and adepts at hunting down foes. Divine Justices get a powerful version of smite chaos that also protects them from foes and gain access to a very limited selection of paladin spells and finally may treat weapons for which they have weapon focus as axiomatic. Now if these seem a bit unbalanced in direct comparison, that's mainly because skills and feat-lists as well as starting equipment are also balancing factors . uncommon, but not a bad decision. i actually like it! Some sheriffs are judges, jury and executioner in one person - these sheriffs are not trying to take you in alive - they finish the job then and there and, at 14th level, may for con-rounds make their weapon focus weapon vorpal for one round and reroll misses due to concealment. I'm honestly not comfortable with the vorpal ability at 14th level - but then again, I'm not comfortable with the weapon quality. Still, it seems a bit early for vorpal.



Long Arms of the Law are the firearm specialists - and don't get grit - but do get one ingenious ability - starting at 2nd level, they may, as a free action, add their will-save to their touch AC versus firearms - I would have loved more "anti-grit" abilities like this - the design is solid, but could have been simply awesome. As provided, they are a solid, less risky firearm specialists.



Posse Leaders may deputize NPCs and are essentially capable of temporarily recruiting NPCs depending on their level and increase their abilities to lead others.



We also get 3 mundane items, 4 firearm modifications (different stocks - detachable ones, for example) and the stats for an executioner's sword. We also get 2 different CR 3 sheriffs and 3 statblocks for different posse members.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to PDG's 2-column standard and the pdf comes with nice full color artworks. The pdf comes fully bookmarked.



Author Sean O'Connor has created a good take on the sheriff-trope that comes with some rather cool precincts and features some abilities I'd really consider well-built and innovative. Taking for example the option to fortify against firearms or the posse leader's recruitment - they are great, but choosing between more options would have made this even cooler. In fact, that's the one thing I could hold against this class - apart from the a tad bit too weak bounty hunter and the potential problem with the vorpal-ability of the JJE-precinct, I enjoyed this class in spite of being relatively linear. In the end, the sheriff is a sufficiently distinct class that could have, with more room and e.g. archetypes and some additional unique powers (why not offer limited grit-access? Why not determine different bonuses based on jurisdiction [theocracy nets other bonuses than magocracies/rural areas...]?) become a true winner.

Within the few pages devoted to it, it works as a solid class that has some excellent ideas that hint at as of yet partially unrealized potential. Speaking of which - the class is, also rather linear when it needn't be - why not tie jurisdiction to categories à la "tyranny", "magocracy" etc. - all worlds tend to have these and providing exclusive modifications for the precincts would have made this class so much cooler and a more versatile experience. Don't get me wrong - the sheriff is by no means a bad class, but it is one very linear one and probably more fitting for NPCs. That being said, we still get a solid offering for a fair price and hence my final verdict will clock in at 3.5 stars, rounded down to 3 for the purpose of this platform - unless you're looking for an NPC-class - in which case you should consider this a round-up-file of 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
[PFRPG] Player's Options: The Sheriff
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[PFRPG] GM's Aid IX: Monster Knowledge Cards II
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/28/2013 10:26:40
An Endzeitgeist.com review

So...I'm going to break my usual format for reviewing here and instead take a look at a deck of cards.



Yes, cards. But what do they contain? Essentially, as the name suggest, Monster Lore - one feature absent (probably for space-reasons) from Paizo's bestiaries. These cards seek to remedy the absence of DC for knowledge checks about the creatures your PCs will encounter. 4 DCs are given per card, one at DC 10, one at DC 15, one at DC 20 and one at DC 25. Alternatively, these DCs could be added to the monster's CR for a more complex formula or modified further due to rarity etc.



At the top of each card, we can read each monster's respective name and at the bottom, we get the appropriate Knowledge-skills for the creature - whether by knowledge of the planes or by religious knowledge or by savoir-faire in the realms of the arcane or of nature, the respective skills can be determined with a quick glance.



Now personally, I'm a huge opponent of giving out crunch-information to PCs via any checks - I am firmly opposed to e.g. spelling out the alignment of NPCs and instead tend to describe a taint clinging to those of evil alignment to minimize the amount of game-terms. Now, it is my pleasure to tell you that the respective cards, when giving out information on the creature's capability, tends to word the respective abilities in a both understandable and concise way without giving away the precise mechanics: While immunities and resistances are laid bare with the higher DCs, e.g. spell-like abilities are described rather than simply listed, helping with the immersion of the PCs in the respective campaign setting. It should also be noted that monster-types also get their card containing general pieces of information on the respective subtype - nice!



Generally, these knowledge-DCs do help the PCs in their dealings with the creatures they encounter, but without laying bare a creatures bones, so to speak. Production-quality-wise, the cards are made from solid cardstock, though not laminated. My deck has a white line at the bottom in the otherwise red borders of the cards. On the backside, we get a picture of 3 Grindylow.



Conclusion:

Production-wise, these cards are well worth their asking price and they offer a way for DMs to both incite players into taking those Knowledge-skills and offer them tangible benefits as well as improved immersion - so in that regard, all's well. The white line at the bottom of the card-deck is a bit annoying, but nothing that would detract from the appeal of the deck and may very well be exclusive to my version, so no penalties there either. But not all is executed in the best possible way - first of all, and that is a personal preference, the respective DCs are always the same - more variation to account for more rare specimen being less known etc. in the basic DCs would have been a diversion from the classic take on these lore-sections, yes, but one I feel would have made sense. Additionally, I REALLY would have loved a small note under the creature's name that denotes the page in the bestiary II in which it is found - it would have made organizing and assigning cards to statblocks so much easier, especially since the very amount of creatures covered is staggering. HOWEVER: I do know that this is not feasible due to license-constraints etc.

Now don't get wrong - this is a supplement that WILL enrich your game and limit the amount of metagaming going on by quite a bit and hence, improve your group's experience while embarking on your quests and overall, should be considered an extremely useful supplement indeed. The pdf, should you opt for it, is formatted so that each page corresponds to one card and clocks in at a whopping 300 pages and comes with bookmarks for easy navigation, should you opt to use it digitally.



And here's the cincher - I'm old-school in that regard and print out EVERYTHING and the physical deck itself, while harder to organize, is simply neat - Handing out cards to players while narrating something going on in game right now makes for a faster flow of gaming and a more immersive one - but if you do opt for the print version, be sure to properly maintain the organization of the deck - I recommend a card-folder. I also use a card-sheathe that allows me to obscure DCs the PCs didn't make when handing these out for added fun. Navigation in the bookmarked pdf, of course, is more simple, but imho also a tad bit less rewarding for the players, but that may be just me.



All in all, this deck is extremely useful and should be considered a neat supplement that enriches your game, if one that by virtue of its medium requires you maintain some organizing discipline. Of course, you may still alternatively just print out about 4 cards per regular paper-page and treat these as a kind of lore-appendix to the Bestiary II, which may be the efficient, if not as fun, middle ground solution. All in all, we get a solid offering here, one well worth of 4.5 stars, rounded down to 4 for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
[PFRPG] GM's Aid IX: Monster Knowledge Cards II
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[PFRPG] Player's Options: The Sheriff
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/31/2013 10:51:28
An interesting creature, the Sheriff. Beginning in mediaeval times as a 'Shire-reeve' he was an early law enforcement officer, charged with keeping the peace and dealing with law-breakers in part of a noble's holdings. As law enforcement developed the office faded into obscurity, coming back into prominence in the Old West of the USA when similar conditions of vast areas without any form of policing needed to be brought into order. That's the real world interpretation, of course... and here is a fascinating take on the same office, looking at how it can be made to work in the fantasy context.

As you might expect, a Sheriff must be lawful in alignment - given that his function is to maintain and enforce the law. They need to be good at combat but their skillset reflects the need to investigate wrong-doing too. The Sheriff also needs 'Jurisdiction' - that is, the authority to act within a particular area. A starting Sheriff has a limited area of Jurisdiction, but this expands as he rises in level. Some kind of badge of office is worn to indicate this, and a Sheriff within his Jurisdiction and wearing his badge gains bonuses to his Diplomacy, Knowledge (local), Perception and Sense Motive skills. Neat.

Another interesting ability is called Precinct. Forget a precinct house or geographical area, this is about the particular focus a Sheriff brings to his work. It's a way to customise the character to the particular style of law enforcement you want, and brings tangible benefits in terms of skills, feats and even equipment... but each Precinct also carries a code of conduct to which he must adhere. These in particular have the added advantage of giving motivation to 'go adventuring' as otherwise a Sheriff would pretty well be tied to his Jurisdiction.

The Precincts are Bounty Hunter, Divine Justice (acting on behalf of a deity rather than mortal law), Judge, Jury and Executioner (a kind of Judge Dredd approach), Long Arm of the Law (justice through force) and Posse Leader, who sweeps others up to act as, well, a posse to hunt down lawbreakers.

As a player-character, this should be used with care - a strong player might rather take over the party and direct its path - but if your campaign is built around the concept of bringing order to unexplored or otherwise lawless regions it could be a potent role indeed. If you posit a burgeoning law enforcement structure throughout the area, it could also (at least at low level) provide scope for issuing 'missions' to the Sheriff, and hence the party. As an NPC, a Sheriff could be a useful friend, a patron... or a nemesis!

A neat addition to the Pathfinder ruleset, an option well worth considering. I have this nice murder mystery adventure here...

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
[PFRPG] Player's Options: The Sheriff
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