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Fehr's Ethnology: Erkunae [PFRPG]
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/15/2012 05:54:43
This entry of Purple Duck Games' Fehr's Ethnology-series is 11 pages long, 1/2 a page front cover/editorial, ~2 pages SRD and ~2 pages advertisement, leaving ~6.5 pages of content for this new race, so check it out!

Erkunae start off with a rather interesting and well-written flavor-text (which unfortunately also contains the first editing glitch), before we are introduced to the new race: Erkunae get +2 Str, +2 Int and -2 Con, count as humans, gain bonuses on courtly skills one would expect of nobles, work better alone and can, once per week, summon a scaling ally via elder pacts. The Erkunae can chose from chaos, elemental or death-creatures. They also get a racial bonus on attacks with blades.

The write-up of the race that introduces us to the elitist and isolationalist culture of Erkunae is well-written and provides us also with age, height and weight tables and 6 well-balanced Erkunae-traits as well as 2 new regional traits. 8 alternate racial traits are part of the deal as well an enable you to e.g. give your Erkuna drug-addled dream-visions, a bonus to ride dragons and magical beasts, + 2 to Dex instead of Str (making for excellent rogues) and increased elemental affinity for sorcerors. In contrast to the first two ethnologies, I have nothing to complain about here.

The pdf also provides 4 racial feats: One for true neutral champions of balance, one to represent your royal bloodline (and thus grant social skill bonuses) and two rather interesting feats: PAct with Birds makes avian creatures not attack you (if you do, though, an atonement is in order) and Thrall holder is essentially a lesser leadership that nets you a commoner.

The pdf continues with respective class-discussions and 8 favored lass options, which include the rook and SGG's dragonrider - nice to see some synergy there!

Finally, we get a sample level 1 magus and his undead pact creature eyes as well as another additional trait.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are improved in V.2.0, but not yet perfect. Layout adheres to PDG's 2-column-standard and the piece of artwork is nice, though it doesn't fit the race's description - Erkunae are supposed to be somewhat albino-style, not green. The pdf also provides bookmarks, which is nice to see. I actually, surprisingly, quite liked the Erkunae - I don't have any major gripes to hold against the race. Their pact creatures are an interesting signature ability and lend themselves for some interesting roleplaying. Their culture and general attitude reminded me somewhat of Rite Publishing's Wyrd, which is nice indeed and in my home-game, I think I'd blend them together. That being said, this time I have no gripe regarding the balance or content and actually can recommend this installment! While the overall write-up is great, I feel that the Erkunae could have been more unique with e.g. a short terminology-section or materials/unique cultural productions: That being said, the low price ensures that my final verdict will be 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 for the purpose of this platform - if the idea of the Erkunae intrigues you, check them out!

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fehr's Ethnology: Erkunae [PFRPG]
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Stock Art: Air Elemental
by Joshua G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/11/2012 22:00:44
An excellent illustration of an air elemental from Michael Scotta and the folks at Purple Duck, yet another in their color series of stock art that is perfect for GM's and small publishers alike.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stock Art: Air Elemental
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Stock Art: Demoness
by Joshua G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/11/2012 21:58:26
An ideal piece for representing a female devil, demon, deamon, hellspawn, ugly succubus (lol), etc.etc. A solid addition to a collection of art for any small publisher or GM looking to enhance their game material.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Stock Art: Demoness
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Memorable Townsfolk [PFRPG]
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/08/2012 06:18:30
This pdf is 32 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2.5 pages of SRD and 1 page advertisement, leaving a total of 26.5 pages of content, so let's check this out!

We all know the feeling: The Pcs return to town, look around...and instead of well-rounded NPCs, a beleaguered GM has to improvise a badly-conceived standard NPC whose name he forgets until the next session. Purple Duck Games' latest offering seeks to remedy that by providing new NPCs, at least in the first half of the book.

The NPCs herein thus reign from a soothsayer/diviner that tries to cold-read people instead of using her true power to bored bards and alchemist barkeeps. Cr-wise, the NPCs range from Cr 1 to 8 and all come with full stats for you to use. A total of 12 NPCs are provided and all of them come with quite extensive additional information, somewhat similar to what Raging Swan tends to provide for NPCs, but going even beyond that: Each entry comes with services the character can provide for the PCs, a boon if they are on good terms, information on starting attitude and personal prejudice, a write-up of the overall impression, on the personality of the NPC, the background and a kind of adventure seed in the form of gossip about the respective individual. There are also multiple boxes detailing bits and pieces of Purple Duck's upcoming Porphyra-setting, which can be easily ignored, but make for interesting bits and pieces, if you care to read them. More impressively, each of the NPC-entries comes with a high-quality full-color artwork - something I definitely didn't expect at this low price-point. Great to have these mug-shots to show to your players!

But we all know it: You can create as many NPCs as you like, you'll still have to improvise sooner or later. To help with these instances, we get 2 pages of d%-tables for appearance, personality, origin elements and motives to randomly generate NPCs.

The second larger section of the book provides us with 4 sample settlements: From the almost lawless frontier-town of Rusty Waters, to the encampment of the halfling quickstep clan to the hidden elven town of Illuriel and the academic town of Rexton, these settlements provide a background against which the new NPCs can be used and come with full settlement statblocks, which are also explained in detail. This section also provides quick and dirty rules to call for the guards and 8 qualities for settlements. More importantly, each of the settlements gets a STUNNING full-color artwork that immediately evokes a sense of intrigue.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are good, though not perfect - I noticed some minor punctuation glitches in e.g. the settlement write-ups. Layout adheres to PDG's printer-friendly 2-column standard and the full-color artworks by Gary Dupuis are awesome, especially for the price! The pdf also comes with bookmarks. This pdf's premise is to provide memorable NPCs and it delivers - while the individual NPCs use some of the stereotypes common in fantasy, they all add some kind of spin via the gossip-section or other components of the write-ups. The friendly barkeep? He's a dwarven alchemist who might be drugging beautiful females. The stern, xenophobic, prude priestess? She once worshipped a deity of revenge and seduction. You get the idea. The random NPC-generation-table is neat and the settlements are well-presented. However, in spite of the gorgeous artworks, this pdf felt like it lacked something: While the NPCs have some nice twists to the tropes, they still adhere rather closely to what you've probably seen before - some more far-out ideas and perhaps even unique qualities/services would have been awesome. The section on town statblocks is ok, but I would have loved to see some new settlement qualities or additional hooks - more information on the settlements would have been nice. Don't get me wrong - this is a good purchase at the low price and provides what it delivers, but overall, I still feel that the pdf falls short of what it could easily have become. Combine that with the minor glitches and I'll settle for a final verdict of 3.5 stars, which I'll gladly round up to 4 for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Memorable Townsfolk [PFRPG]
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Monsters Unleashed V.5 [PFRPG]
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/18/2012 03:01:31
The fifth installment of PDG's Monsters Unleashed-series is 13 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page advertisement and 1 1/2 pages of SRD, leaving 9 1/2 pages of content, so let's check this one out!

The first creature herein is a magical cat-ally and master of illusions called Asnae (CR 6), which may actually make for a neat representation of a Cheshire cat-style creature in your game. The critter comes with a illusion-centric feat and 3 spells, one of which actually enables it to enchant a forest to become creepy.
The second beast of the bunch is the Gnarl (CR 7), a dread underdark predator and grappler with an iron grip and the option to dislocate his foe's limbs.

If you're familiar with the Fehr's Ethnology-series, you might also know about the Ith'n Ya'roo (CR 5), benign yeti-like creatures and masters of bonecrafting and it is here that the beasts get a write-up that is rather a monster instead of a potential PC-race. They also come with a new spell to prevent their bonecrafted tools from crumbling under combat's strain.

Mezadevs are interesting CR 11 fey that look somewhat akin to minotaurs - only that they have a bag which contains all kinds of allies - from ettinss to dire animals, these critters give the "bag of tricks" a whole new meaning - my favorite critter in this pdf, btw.!

The final monster introduced in this pdf is the Striga (CR 3), infernal agents of hell, these women have been scalped and blinded and no possess the ability to discern the truth and ferret out betrayers to the cause of hell. The artwork for the Striga is AWESOME and disturbing, btw. - perhaps the best I've seen in the whole series!

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are very good, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to a per-se printer-friendly 2-column standard and the artworks for the creatures are all full-color and of a higher quality than I'd expect at this price-point, though two pieces of artwork may already be familiar to you if you've read the two first installments of Fehr's Ethnology. The pdf also comes with extensive bookmarks, which is nice. While some of the creatures herein failed to utterly blow me away, I did actually enjoy 3 of them quite a bit and really liked the rest - this installment actually features no creature I'd consider truly boring or bad and while the re-used artwork is a very minor downer, I'd ask you to look at the price-point: I'm still baffled at the fact that every creature gets a piece of artwork, let alone of the quality of e.g. the Striga. Due to the low price, cool creatures and neat overall content, I'll settle for a final verdict of 5 stars - very well done!

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monsters Unleashed V.5 [PFRPG]
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Otyughnomicon: Flensing Otyugh
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/15/2012 06:20:06
This pdf is 11 pages long, 1 page front cover, ~1.5 pages SRD and 1 page of advertisement, leaving approximately 7.5 pages of content for the latest special Otyugh, so let’s take a look!

As with all installments of the Otyughnomicon, we get two different stats for the otyugh in question – one for the Core-version of the Otyugh as an aberration, the second for the GOW-version as a magical beast. This installment adds the flensing template (CR +2) to the creature, which provides a solid addition of damage to the creature’s attacks, the ability to rage and to inflict bleeding weapons and track spillt blood. Both creatures clock in at CR 6.

The sample encounter of this Otyughnomicon presents us with the tower of a now perished wizard, whose creations include said new otyughs as well as a troll and a variant air elemental. The person who hired the Pcs to claim the tower, Linsa Fayblood, is also fully detailed and two new spells, the ominous „Buttress of Skulls“ and the „Strangling Web“ are as much a part of the deal as a new cape and 4 simple floor traps, which makes the overall encounter(s) a neat little blue-print for a short side-trek. And one with a twist, to boot!

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are very good – while I noticed a few minor glitches, nothing truly impeded my ability to enjoy the pdf. The pdf adheres to PDG’s two-column standard and comes with artworks for all creatures – apart from the Otyugh, the artworks are full color, though nothing too special. The pdf features full bookmarks. For the low price, we get a new template, a nice adventure outline and solid stats – nothing much to complain about apart from the fact that the pdf provides nothing that truly made me yell „Eureka“. As such, I think I can settle for a solid 4 stars and a recommendation if you’re even remotely intrigued by the template.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Otyughnomicon: Flensing Otyugh
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Fehr's Ethnology: Hhundi [PFRPG]
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/14/2012 07:56:58
The second installment of Fehr's Ethnologies is 8 pages long, 1/2 page artwork/editorial, 1 page SRD and 1 page advertisement, leaving about 5 1/2 pages of content for the Hhundi, so let's checck them out!

First, something to note: If you play with Germans or any speakers of German, you'll have to rename these. "Hundi" is roughly the equivalent to (cute) "doggy" and my players would have burst from laughter. Oh well, onwards to the new race!

Hhundi are crouched monstrous humanoids, get +2 to Dex and Wis, -2 to Cha, darkvision, light sensitivity, scent, natural claw attacks for 1d4, the ability to cast reduce person on themselves and a natural armor bonus of +1.

The Hhundi are a race of stalkers and hunter, not entirely benevolent, but neither bestail, just...welll...somewhat alien. They lay eggs, have some interesting social protocols. The ecology-section per se is well-written. The Hhundi get 4 race traits that don't feel overpowered and specific enough to make the race flavorful. & alternate racial traits are also part of the deal and range from less penalties when using stealth while moving fast, to negating scent (via a new spell aslo included in the pdf) and I liked most of them - one, though, is severely over-powered: Wary defender replaces scent and lets you roll each perception-check twice, taking the better result. That's stronger than most FEATS, let alone traits! Not gonna happen!

Speaking of feats: The 4 new ones herein are neat, one in particular, which enables the hhundi to temporarily become small, is neat indeed. The pdf also covers how the race views classes and features favored class alternatives for 8 different classes.

The sample Hhundi is actually...a gunslinger! Yes, you heard right! Hhundi love the black powder and a masterwork backpack as well as the crude Hhundi silencer are included with their stats - cool supplemental material and the seeming contradiction in the race and the fondness for technology makes them more interesting.

Conclusion:
editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to PDG's rather printer-friendly 2-column standard and comes with full bookmarks. The artwork of the Hhundi is nice. Apart from the stupid name, I did actually enjoy the race quite a bit - the Hhundi are not easily pinned down into a stereotype and offer a wide array of roleplaying possibilities without dissolving into featurelessness. Rules-wise, they are also rather solid and, with the notable exceptions mentioned above, neither too powerful, nor too weak. On the other hand, said rules are there and feel a bit off and quite frankly, I would have loved to see a bit more on the products they create, as goods say a lot about a culture. The race unfortunately lacks an age, height and weight table. The low price is a plus, but as written; I can't go higher than 3 stars on this one - check it out if the idea of some strange stalking race intrigues you!

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Fehr's Ethnology: Hhundi [PFRPG]
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Fehr's Ethnology: Ith'n Ya'roo [PFRPG]
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/09/2012 02:57:42
This pdf is 8 pages long, 1 page SRD and 1/2 a page artwork and editorial, leaving 6 1/2 pages of content for the Ith'n Ya'roo...so what exactly are these beings?

The Ith'n Ya'roo are an interesting new race that capitalizes on a the idea of regression - via mating with yetis, humans have transformed into these strange humanoids. If you now expect another evil culture to abhor, you'll be in for a surprise, though - the Ith'n Ya'roo are actually epitomes of the noble savage, being mostly LG and suitable as a PC-race. While their customs include cannibalism, there is no taboo in being eaten and in fact, the usage of one's bones in the crafting of a tribe is considered to be a great honor, especially for weapons - for the Ith'n Ya'roo are perhaps the best bonecrafters in the known world - thus rules for bone weapons and armor are part of the deal.

The horned, tall, shaggy-furred Ith'n Ya'roo get +2 Str and Wis, -4 Int, are monstrous humanoids, medium, gain darkvision, +2 natural armor, hooked horns for a 1d6-natural attack, resistance to cold 5, vulnerability to fire, a bonus on craft checks related to bone and the ability to cast a new spell from this pdf 2/day. While they are fearsome-looking and culturally limited, I think DMs should be careful when allowing such a PC - over all, their abilities seem to be very strong and should be balanced via social stigmata or the like.
ESPECIALLY when using one of the 4 racial traits, or 6 alternate racial traits, some of which are simply OP: Yaroo Bloodspear grants you the Splintering Weapon FEAT. Trait. Feat. There's supposed to be a difference in power, isn't there?. Worse, the Blue Hair alternate trait makes them IMMUNE AGAINST COLD. A trait. Immunity against one whole energy type. At first level. Not gonna happen in my game. Ever. Another trait, where I doubt the usability, is Growler: You sacrifice your starting languages for a 1d3 bite attack. that's worse than the horns. And it's not clear whether this is a primary or secondary natural attack. Either way, it doesn't do enough damage when compared to the attack the race already has. The ability to use a trait to cast icicle dagger and shield simultaneously is also to powerful for a trait. Or it would be if it specified what action this special casting takes - the information is missing.

The 4 racial feats, when compared to the traits, fall almost insultingly flat and range from an ice-based version of stonecunning to using Wis as governing attribute for two of your knowledge skills. Especially when directly compared to the traits, these feats feel like they are actually too weak. We also get 8 favored class alternatives, a discussion on how they relate to classes, but no information on an age, height and weight table, which is a bummer. Instead we get another trait, 2 spells (an icicle dagger and one to reinforce temporarily brittle bone equipment) and a sample NPC.

Said sample NPC, I gladly admit, is my favorite piece of the pdf - an Ith'n Ya'roo alchemist who uses acid-filled bladders instead of exploding flasks and who is a refreshingly non-optimized build. If I do use them in my campaign, I'll be sure to include this cool alchemist.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are very good, though some rules need clarification. Layout adheres to PDG's printer-friendly 2-column standard and also features a truly beautiful full-color artwork I didn't expect to see at this price-point. The pdf comes fully bookmarked, which is another plus. I'm kinda torn on the Ith'n Ya'roo - on the one hand, I love how the fear of degenerating into something wild has been married to the stereotype of the noble savage and what I could glean from their culture interested me. However, their bonecrafting remains somewhat underutilized and, moreover, the race suffers from what I'd call a bit wonky balancing - as written, a DM should be willing to put some stones in the way of the Ith'n Ya'roo PC in order to counteract the increased power when compared to the core-races. And then there are the broken traits. And I mean BROKEN. I like powerful traits that matter, I really do. But they have to be restricted in order to remain what they are supposed to be. Good examples would be RiP's "101 Pirate & Privateer"-traits. In contrast, the Ith'n Ya'roo traits are almost ridiculously powerful, while their racial feats frankly suck. All in all, I'm missing the crucial age, height and weight-table (when do they crash through the ice?), perhaps some unique items and some fleshing out of the whole culture (what about starting wealth?). On the other hand, the pdf is very cheap. Going over it again and again, I can't bring myself to rate this higher than 2.5 stars, though - there are too many mechanical hick-ups that add up and tarnish the per se great idea of the race. Unfortunately, I feel like I have to round down for that one.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Fehr's Ethnology: Ith'n Ya'roo [PFRPG]
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Otyughnomicon: Flensing Otyugh
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/08/2012 09:45:41
Despite having been role-playing for over 30 years, it's only recently I really got to grips with the otyugh, when the authors of a module that I was running chose to put one in... and I had great fun with it! This otyugh, and it was just the regular run-of-the-mill standard one, turned out to be very polite provided that the characters talked to it (and fed it) rather than waded in with sword and spell. Ended up with a memorable, enjoyable and quite unexpected moment of role-playing from this side of the GM screen...

So, to the latest instalment in this series exploring the full potential of the otyugh. The 'flensing' template presented here comes, we are told, from generations of transmuters experimenting to create the perfect beast of war and seeking ever more horrifying ways of dealing damage to the enemy, but preferably in a controlled manner. The limited but real intelligence of the otyugh coupled with its outlandish and quite terrifying appearance fits the bill quite well, especially with a bit of tampering. So, the flensing otyugh is equipped with nasty barbs all over its tentacles and the predisposition to relish the spilling of blood.

Here we have the flensing template itself, two examples of it applied to an otyugh (standard System Reference Document version where the otyugh is an aberration and the Grand OGL Wiki one with the otyugh starting as a magical beast)... and if you might be wondering what to do with a one of them, there's an encounter with several of them in a wizard's tower - the fellow had been messing around, transmuting away, you see... only his containment spells suffered a cascade failure and, well, someone's got to clean up the mess. Never quite as simple as it seems, there are a few little twists to keep the characters on their toes, and it should prove an entertaining interlude.

As if that were not enough there are a couple of new spells for your spellbook - Buttress of Skulls and Strangling Web - both quite handy for defending your lair, and a variant air elemental that has a distressing habit of flinging blood around! To round things off, there's a devious young lady spellcaster, the daughter of the owner of the tower and an interesting NPC in her own right.

A nice little addition to your bookshelf, it's always fun to put a twist on things that your players think that they know about!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Otyughnomicon: Flensing Otyugh
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Legendary VI: Legendary Armor
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/04/2012 03:00:59
The sixth installment of Purple Duck Games' excellent series for PFRPG focuses on magic armor and clocks in at 33 pages - 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 1/2 pages of SRD, leaving 28 1/2 pages of content for the new magic armors, so let's check them out!

In case you're new to the series, the pdf explains how these items work - essentially, in order to use these items, you have to fulfill certain criteria. If you do, however, you'll see them improving in strength and powers over the levels just as you do. That being said, after the last "Legendary..."-installment has provided my personal favorite equipment-book of 2011, this treatise on armors has a doubly hard standing - after all, unfortunately armors tend to be less "sexy" for players than weapons, even though they are just as essential. A crucial difference of this installment and previous "Legendary..."-titles is that the items no longer cap at a +5 bonus, becoming epic artifact-like treasures befitting of high-level heroes. While your first reaction might be a scoff, let me assure you that balance is still kept and that I welcome this decision, as it both eliminates unnecessary design-restrictions and also underlines the legendary nature of the items herein.

Contained herein are 15 sets of original, legendary pieces of armor, each of which comes with its own b/w-artwork by Tamas Baranya and I have to comment on this - the artworks rock! Take e.g. an aquatic plate with a toothy fish-mouth-style helm. Neat! What's also neat is that each of the armors comes with an extensive background story that runs the gamut from classical themes of unrequited loves to snobbish princes turned just rulers and dragon hunters becoming prey of their draconic nemesis.

Even better, each and every one of the armor's stories has a built-in hook that just might hint at the supposed location of it and how it got separated from its erstwhile user and remain generic and easily inserted without becoming boring reads. Formatting-wise, the individual sets feature lists that depict their growth in power up to the 20th level, fully detailed information on their individual abilities and write-ups of their special qualities, as several new ones are introduced herein.

To give you an example, let's take the first piece of armor, the Assassin's Chain: Once the armor of a ruthless killer, said man got a taste of his own medicine when a brotherhood of assassins targeted and killed his family. Vowing vengeance, not even death could stop the killer and, once all his foes had been taken care of, he finally died, leaving behind an armor that may hide you from even blindsense, tremorsense and similar abilities at the highest levels, making you an apex predator among men - but is fate willing to grant you the armor? The thirst for vengeance that guided its first possessor, is it inherent in the armor or just a coincidence?
Beyond the rules , the fluff serves as excellent supplemental material to further invoke a sense of mystery, purpose and determination underlying the individual armors that serves as a guiding principle of making what is contained in these pages a remarkable assortment of items, not only from a crunch-perspective.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting in the revised version are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to PDG's 2-column b/w/purple-standard and is printer-friendly. I already commented on the neat artwork, especially for this low price. The pdf comes fully bookmarked and, as all PDG-releases, takes up surprisingly little space, making it viable for mobile devices - something I felt I should finally comment on. I have truly nothing significant to complain about - classic armors of dragonhide go along-side exotic ones of bulette hide and even silks and the individual stories and crunch complement each other to a degree seldom seen, providing hooks and iconic tales that can easily be woven into just about any campaign. Seeing my lack of complaints, the excellent quality and the low price, I'm going to settle for a final verdict of 5 stars and with the revised version, I'm happy to add the seal of approval as well. Congratulations to author Marc Radle!

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legendary VI: Legendary Armor
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Legendary VI: Legendary Armor
by Joshua G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/28/2012 05:45:33
Weighing in at 33 pages (with front cover, ToC, and just over 2 pages for OGL) this PDF delivers roughly 28 pages of new material for the Legendary series from Purple Duck Games. The sixth book in the series, the focus is on those suits of armor that never fail to inspire the grandest of tales, and the most epic of songs, I speak of course, of Legendary Armor. The suit, found bathed in a beam of sunlight, sequestered away from the world, awaiting that perfect someone, in short that suit we as players all secretly hoped our GM's would someday place within our path.

First thing I noticed looking through this PDF was the inclusion of art for every suit of armor. Not only is every suit fully described and detailed with its own fluff and crunch, but you will be left with no doubt as to what the author of this work (Marc Raddle) had in mind when he designed these items. And what of that illustrations? Tamas Baranya was the artist, and did an excellent job in translating and interpreting these suits into visuals that are excellent. All art is done in a B&W color scheme, with a comparable stance for each suit reminiscent of a department store mannequin, with at least one suit sporting a “blank face” as if to show the armor on a tailor's dummy.

Starting with an introduction, the author explains that while legendary treasures have traditionally always come with a hefty price in the form of quests, loss of abilities, etc. around his game table they have devised an alternative. Offered within the introduction is an alternate means of allowing the armor to advance as a character builds in levels, utilizing what I can only think to describe as “prerequisites”. Personally, I really like the idea, and think it helps to keep a balance on items of this nature, while allowing them to grow organically within the structure of a characters lifespan and career.

We are presented with fifteen new armors here, all of them unique in their own way. Assassin's Chain granting several abilities to enhance the effectiveness of a silent and stealthy killer. Next up is Battlecaster Armor which is presented as a custom suit of chain leggings and sleeves crafted by the first magus. Of it's abilities, perhaps the one that grabbed me the most and made me want to drop this into my campaign world is an ability that would allow a caster , while wearing the armor, to expend a spell to harness the raw magical energy into a melee weapon. Upon a successful hit with said weapon, that energy translates into additional damage dice based upon the level of the spell originally expended.

Beggar's Feast won out as my favorite suit out of this collection, and I think it had more to do with the story behind it and the way it is depicted via illustration than its actual abilities. The suit was crafted by a prince after he finds himself denied access back into his father's palace. Alone and forced to live amongst the filth he had looked down upon he adapted, and became a folk hero, determined to feed his new “kingdom”. The suit itself is a ragtag mismatched suit of padded armor, but with it the prince fed his subjects thanks to the abilities the suit gave him the capacity to use.

Blood Drinker gives us our first suit of armor from the other side of the alignment pool. A spiked suit of dread plate with a penchant for bleed abilities, this one just screams for an anti-paladin NPC on so many levels. Champion's Plate gives a serious nod of love to the horseback knights out there, and even ups the ante by giving access to a draconic mount (for amounts of time limited to the wearer's level). Healer's Hand reminds us that armor can be worn by those seeking to heal, as well as harm. Kama-Xia is the first truly unique suit of armor in that the design is unique enough it earns the first full chart for armor bonus/dex bonus/armor check etc. Basically a mail on leather coat, the design concept is strikingly beautiful.

Kelgror's Ghost I can honestly say was the first suit I read in here that I immediately knew which player I wanted to grant this to within my current playgroup, and literally had to stop reading to jot down some ideas on how to introduce it into my game. It is also the first suit that, as far as layout decisions went, brings up my first complaint. The chart depicting the growth of the suit as it and the wearer increase in levels is split across two pages. Now, technically there is nothing wrong with that, and I know it is a matter of personal taste, but I have never been a fan of splitting charts and tables, as there is always a layout decision that will allow it to stay together for the flow of reading.

Landshark's Hide takes the concept of hide armor down the path of the bulette, after all, who says all hide armor is made the same? Mage Hunter's Armor is the perfect suit for those looking to do some serious damage to spell chucker of the arcane variety. Granting it's wearer several useful spell like abilities all aimed at identifying and stopping arcane casters, as well as granting Spell Resistance, this suit would work very well within a campaign world for those tasked with keeping wizards in line. Minstrel's Boon, a leather suit, expands the performance capacity and knowledge skill check success rate of it's wearer, as well aiding in protecting a bard from those pesky silence spells, as well as blindness and or deafness.

Oak Heart's Armor marks the second suit unique enough to need gear stats as it is a suit of wooden plates over leather armor. The wood being taken from the burnt body of a treant, the armor grants several abilities to its wearer that would please any druid. The pinnacle ability of this armor is its ability to summon forth the spirit of the treant from whom the armor is made. I fell in love with this suit, I can not lie. This suit, it's history, is exactly how a GM rewards a player for doing a druid justice. Seducer's Silk is the third unique build for a suit of armor, this being a ceremonial suit of silk armor, complete with full armor statistics and a host of abilities to make those around the wearer more than happy to be complaint with pleasing the wearer. Triton Scale allows a land dweller to function as a force to be reckoned in an aquatic setting, granting movement and the capacity for breath, as well as a few impressive tactical abilities.

Vrithmytrix's Bane gives us the obligatory dragonhide suit, this one being of a black dragon. Granting claws, wings and a breath weapon attack, the suit carries some serious firepower with it. It did however end up on my wrong side, as it, like Kelgror's Ghost has it's advancement chart split across two pages. I know, I know, I'm picky, lol.

The book closes out with contact information and an open offer for interested writers to submit material to Purple Duck Games

So, final thoughts.....Other than the two charts spread across two pages, I found four other editing missteps. All of them minor, a missing “the” here, and extra “a” there, and two instances of a letter being left off of a word. Like I said, minor, but editing mishaps none the less. The material was well written, and designed with the concept of making truly memorable items to add to a campaign world. The art was way above par, and a welcome addition. Balancing the editing and layout issues with the material presented, I am going to go with a 4 star rating, and highly recommend this product to any GM looking to add the presence of legendary armor to their world.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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A Score of Trapped Chests [PFRPG]
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/27/2012 02:30:49
This pdf is 15 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 1/2 pages SRD, leaving 10 1/2 pages of content for the new treasure chests, so let's check them out!

Treasure chest elicit, like rarely another piece of room dressing, a certain glow from players and DMs alike - the former are delighted due to all the precious loot just for the taking and the latter grin because they know that they get to try out their latest traps. This pdf offers a neat little variety of new traps for chests that come with construction-information and some rather interesting and logical ways to ensure that your items remain undisturbed. The individual chests come with a short fluff paragraph each, helping you to choose which of these to use for which occasion. CR-wise, the chests range from CR 1 to CR 15 and quite frankly, are smart: The very first chest is one that should probably be the standard for corrupt merchants and officials alike - Destroying Evidence drops oil and alchemist's fire in the box and whoosh! All the evidence is gone. Unless the careless adventurers quickly extinguish the flames, potentially harming themselves. A trap that makes you visible as a thief features a time-delay before spraying your hands with red beet dye - no damage, just the awkwardness of hiding your hands and avoiding justice. Very cool!

Even cooler, though, would be the friendly minimics (CR 2) - these nice brethren of their species are smaller and form friendly relationships with humans and other species, guarding their possessions in the guise of small objects for the option of further studying objects. Cool, interesting, neat little creature! Of course, more classic traps like electric shocks and sprays of acid are included in the deal. The electrical chest is built with a new spell included in the deal, the defensive shock. Neat! Wizards can now also be hit with a devastating new poison called Mind Hammer.

And then there are the creature-chests - chests that summon wolves, contain slithering trackers that can breathe fire and then there's a truly brilliant chest: One of the chest shrinks the opening PC via the new "Greater Reduce Person Spell" and unleashing a swarm of dancing elementals - Normal-sized Pcs can't attack the swarm with area-attacks without hurting their shrunken ally, who is fighting what to him/her is a vast army of fire elementals. Iconic, smart, cool! We need more of this! A particularly devious chest hits you with a fireball, deletes your memory and remains - rinse and repeat, if you're not careful. Extra sadistic DMs combine that with an illusion and you're in for pain...

The higher CR-traps are devious indeed and include gates, fingers of death, weirds and even a trap the soul (including stats for its previous victim) - but, of course, we also get a neat bit of treasure for our so plagued players - The new legendary item, the Duckaxe! Yes. The Duckaxe. And the item actually rocks - you may giggle at first, but this mage-hunting axe is nothing to laugh about. The material it is made from, Noqual, is also detailed in the pdf.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly 2-column standard and the artworks are neat. The pdf is extensively bookmarked. The traps herein are smart and range from generally useful to deviously clever, especially the reduce/swarm chest being a trap that could easily have been made a whole adventure. And then there's the VERY low price - combine these factors, the bonus legendary weapon and the new material and we're in for an excellent pdf at this low price point. While there are other trap-books out there on par with this one, the focus on chests and uniqueness of the design makes this a valid and cool little addition to your game. Not all of the traps feel as brilliant, though, some of them just using a spell in a straight-forward manner. This, however, is not enough to truly stain the pdf and thus I'll settle for a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded down to 4.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
A Score of Trapped Chests [PFRPG]
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Legendary VI: Legendary Armor
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/26/2012 10:08:12
Like earlier installments in the 'Legendary' series, the basic premise is that some of the best magic items - the sort that feature in bardic songs up and down the land - grow with the hero that uses them. This time, it is a selection of armours: each complete with backstory and a wealth of detail that means the item might well be the focus of a whole adventure itself, never mind the legends that will grow up around you once you have got your paws on it and begin to use it in your own adventures.

Perhaps the Battlecaster Armour takes your fancy. Light, and embued with mystical forces, it doesn't impede spellcasting and is inconspicuous enough to go under your clothes. Or perhaps that tatty suit of mismatched padded armour that once belonged to a prince who had a social conscience has caught your eye... it enables you to provide food and drink as well as protecting you from harm.

Less pleasant is a spiky suit of armour that seems to drink the very blood of your opponents; while more pleasant folk might prefer Champion's Armour or a breastplate bearing a glowing open hand that confers the ability to heal... there is a wide range of different items to suit all sorts, to inspire all manner of adventures.

Because that is where the real strength of this work lies. Not just in well-crafted magic items, but in the stories woven around them, presented in general enough terms that you can weave them into your own plots, embedding these items into your ongoing story, not just having them sit in a hoard until a bunch of adventurers come by, killing monsters and taking their stuff.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legendary VI: Legendary Armor
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A Score of Trapped Chests [PFRPG]
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/14/2012 07:56:51
It's a classic: enter a dungeon room and find a chest... no knowing what goodies might be inside until you look...

... yet who is to say how the contents might be defended against 'liberation' by passing adventurers who will, after all, take anything that isn't nailed down if they think it's of value!

So, should you be planning a dungeon crawl for your players or indeed have any small item that they need to find to advance your storyline, here is a selection of well-trapped chests for them to pit their wits against as you sit sniggering behind your GM screen.

Many draw on classic spy tradecraft or even commercial modes of protection, yet they have been designed using appropriate magical and mechanical means available to the denizens of your fantasy world. So chests that fry their contents or cover them in indelible dye at an unauthorised access, as well as other sneaky tricks to trap unwary adventurers are laid out for you to implement. Each comes with appropriate game mechanics including targets for detecting and disarming them, and the details of the resources necessary for their manufacture.

But there is more. Where appropriate new (or at least variant) monsters, spells or even poisons are provided to aid your trap construction. Everything is put together in such a way that, unlike many traps, they make sense within the alternate reality of your fantasy world.

Use them sparingly, for the ideas are devilish in the extreme. Do not trap every chest, but lull your players into a false sense of security then spring one of these to shock them!

You may wish to plan your escape route before you unleash the trap of your choice...

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Score of Trapped Chests [PFRPG]
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Legendary II: Legendary Weapons [PFRPG]
by William W. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/08/2012 10:53:11
A nice collection of 14 legendary weapons for Pathfinder, each with a few paragraphs of history and lore. Includes a variant Jealousy rule for weapons that don't care much for their wielder using other weapons for combat. The layout is somewhat plain, but the content is very good, and the artwork ranges from good to excellent.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Legendary II: Legendary Weapons [PFRPG]
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