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CE 4 - The Seven Deadly Skills of Sir Amoral the Misbegotten
by Joshua G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/15/2013 05:45:31
I am associated with Adventureaweek.com, were I operate as the main PDF monkey. My reviews are written with a desire to remain unbiased as many of the designers, writers, artists and publishers are considered friends to me. Having said that I am first and foremost a reviewer, and in respect to these people and their product I intend to evaluate this product honestly and fairly.

The Seven Deadly Skills of Sir Amoral the Misbegotten written by Daniel J. Bishop is published by Purple Duck Games for the DCC RPG game system. 13 pages, with two pages taking care of the cover and OGL, leaving us with 11 pages of material. Presented in a dual column format, with nothing jumping out and screaming any editing issues, which is always a good thing. Artwork is handled by Gary Dupois and Michael Scotta, with the majority of the pieces being available from Purple Duck Games as stock art pieces. Being a fan of the art style of both of these artists, I was pleased to find their work included in this adventure, and am willing to bet that the art will meet with most people's approval as well.

Cartography is presented with a very old school feel, but I would expect nothing less from a product designed for the DCC RPG. Anything other would feel odd, lol.

The meat and bones here, as this is an adventure review after all, is that a keep lost to history houses the ghost of its previos occupant, one Sir Amoral. Finding himself haunting his former keep, and willing to pass on the collection of knowledge he feels has been wasted by not finding those worthy in life to share with while he could, he now tests those he feels might be worthy of his boon. This of course is where the problem comes in, as his tests are not the easiest of things. 7 skills await those characters that can survive and succeed at each of their trials, proving to the ghost that they are worthy of each of these skills.

Given that there are only seven challenges, and each one of them being addressed directly to one of the seven skills of Sir Amoral I'm going to avoid discussing the specifics, other than to say there with be one and one combat with a handful of creatures. One of the nice things about an encounter location like this, the ruined keep, is that this can easily be incorporated for usage that far exceeds the purposes of this adventure. And yes, the author agrees, going so far as to recommend several methods of using the material in other ways and concepts.

A well designed addition to a GM here, with a handful of interesting creatures and an inspiring location. For the group running DCC RPG this makes for an excellent addition to the game collection. A well deserved 5 star rating, with a lot of re-use ability.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CE 4 - The Seven Deadly Skills of Sir Amoral the Misbegotten
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CE 3 - The Folk of Osmon
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/12/2013 03:02:40
An Endzeitgeist.com review

The third installment of Purple Duck Games Campaign Elements-series fort eh Dungeon Crawl Classics-series is 14 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 12 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?



This being a review of an adventure-locale, the following review contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.



Still here? The Folk of Osmon are weird – they have no hair. Their skin glistens and gleams and they live in a mire where once a vast city was destroyed by a dread cataclysm, now the home of argodiles, parasitic vines that implant their seeds in their victims and dread psilamanders. (All with full stats, mind you!) Swamp Faerie swarms seek to lead their victims astray and getting stuck in the mire poses a more mundane threat as well.



Apart from the map, four scenarios are provided: One depicting a good-natured bandit lord and his men, with whom the PCs will have to ally – for both groups have been surrounded by the strange folk of Osmon – which actually are asexual, amoeboid humans that reproduce by budding and worship their strange deity – which brings us to scenario 2: An atavism of the folk thinks of himself as gendered and falls in love, refusing to bud – resulting in the very real possibility of exploding into proto-osmonfolk and potentially exposing the nature of these men to the PCs. Scenario 3 has the PCs hunt for gold, but if you really want to scare your PCs, go for scenario 4 – the avatar of the Folk of Osmon’s chaotic deity, a vast ooze demanding sacrifice, wants his due – the PCs will have to interrupt the ritual (which btw. comes with information on the phrases used, including the translation – I wish more supplements did that!) and potentially take Osmon as a deity…



Advice for further adventures (squeezing it dry) are included as well.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to the printer-friendly two-column standard of PDG’s DCC-supplements and the pdf comes with an original one-page piece of awesome artwork and the other b/w-artworks and the cartography are awesome for the low price-point.



Author Daniel J. Bishop is one master of the weird, of the uncommon, of the disturbing – he simply GETS what made old-school modules and the sword & sorcery genre tick. This campaign element is in the stellar tradition of superb offerings that should not only incite those playing the DCC-rules to check them out – for the ideas alone, this is very well worth the asking-price: Breathing imaginative ideas, cool and disturbing, full of potential, this supplement can be used in so many ways it is almost painful – this campaign element once again should be considered an absolute must-buy and thus will get full 5 stars + endzeitgeist seal of approval – I really hope I’ll get to read a mega-adventure from Mr. Bishop one of these days.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CE 3 - The Folk of Osmon
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Purple Mountain V: The Descent
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/29/2013 03:36:27
An Endzeitgeist.com review

The fifth installment of Purple Duck Games old-school mega-dungeon crawl is 46 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD - so can the fifth module maintain the streak of stellar modules that have recently graced the Purple Mountain? We'll see!



This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.



Any DM who has ever run a mega-dungeon had this experience: At some point, even in hostile depths, the players need a homebase to study, retreat to etc. Preferably one that is not as monster-infested and/or hard to access/easy to defend. Enter this level, which not only spans a variety of heights (as evidenced by 4 maps, lending a sense of depth to the module), but also an uncommon premise, but let me go on a slight tangent first:



Let's face it: The underdark is a damn scary place - more so in a dungeon. Even before monsters and vile civilizations enter the fray, the claustrophobic sense of entrapment is a very real danger we all can relate to - as is the sheer weirdness of what can be encountered in the depth. When I saw my first stalactite, dove into the first subterranean pool of water, I felt a sense of exhilaration derived from an explorer's mien that is so hard to come by these days as well as a profound sense of the alien, of a place not meant for men. Many modules forget this sentiment of feeling like one doesn't belong - not so this one, for this level of Purple Mountain actually is an investigation.



Yes. An investigation. In a dungeon crawl. And one that actually makes sense! But let me elaborate: This level is essentially the story of a "safe zone" gone horribly awry - the adventuring group that once made this place their base has suffered a terrible fate, having been driven slowly into a paranoid insanity by subtle fungus spores lacing everything. As an old Ravenloft-DM, I'm all too aware of the power of sowing paranoia and distrust not only between characters, but also players, but the way in which this module does it is awesome, because it's subtle - because you don't expect it. As the PCs explore the place and unearth the puzzle-pieces that paint a disturbing tale of suicide, hatred and escalating violence, so do they slowly descend into madness, lest they take heed and carefully nurture bonds of trust - a glorious opportunity for roleplaying, which may be handled sans mechanics or with them: Either option for the paranoia-inducing fungus is given.



Beyond even that, the areas per se actually feature one of the creepiest adversaries I've seen in quite a while and provide some rather horrific experiences a DM can further enhance by the virtue of this level's special qualities. And yes, before you ask - there is enough to be done for all those aficionados of hacking and slashing things to pieces - it's simply not the module's only (or even cardinal) virtue. Another interesting facet of this installment of Purple Mountain would be the fact that, yes, we once again get the useful lists of treasure etc. and their value, and yes, the treasure is above what one would expect -but the respective treasure is also not always easily transportable, unwieldy or simply hard to find - so yeah, something I can get behind. Another thing I'd especially like to point out towards any authors really: If you craft elaborate back stories (helloooo, PFS!), make room for the PCs to actually GET TO EXPERIENCE/PIECE TOGETHER the story. This module does it right - by putting together the pieces, the PCs can actually find the cause of what has happened, making the module succeed where so many have failed - and without resorting to captain exposition to boot! And yes, I'm aware I'm being uncommonly vague about the details here - but I wouldn't be able to do them justice here and I really think you should see for yourself.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to PDG's 2-column printer-friendly standard and the module comes with some really nice pieces of full color, original artwork. Furthermore, the pdf comes fully bookmarked and with player-friendly high-res maps of the complex. The cartography does its job and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.



Third in a row. There are not many series that have done it - Purple Mountain now officially has. Author Josh McCrowell does not disappoint after the stellar third and fourth installment and adds his own twisted take on paranoia, horror even, by providing this eclectic mix of brains and brawns, a module that can be a crawl, but works just as well as an investigation, by creating a dungeon-module that could be toned up to emphasize the fantasy or the horror aspect, "as", the bard would have said, "you like it." For once, roleplaying does not fall by the wayside in a dungeon crawl and the intricately-crafted level of detail and sheer ingeniousness of the place makes this once again a 5 star+ seal of approval recommendation and further cements Purple Mountain as a dungeon you should not let you pass by - especially since it works so easily as an insert into just about any other subterranean complex. Old-school dungeon awesomeness indeed.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Purple Mountain V: The Descent
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Legendary Classes: Rune Magic
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/17/2013 03:03:50
An Endzeitgeist.com review of the revised edition

This supplement is 25 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 3 pages of SRD, leaving us with 20 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



So - what is Rune Magic? Basically, it is the force that initiated the calling on PDG's much-anticipated setting of Porphyra, calling in the clash between two traditions, the New Gods to the world - and now you may harness this primal power. Runes, on a basic level, are essentially Words of Power as you know them from Paizo's Ultimate Magic supplement.



The first way to do so is via the variant class (based on the alchemist, but honestly, completely different!) Runecaster: d8, 4+Int skills per level, 3/4 BAB-progression, good fort and ref-saves, proficiency with simple weapons and light armors, but not shields and wordspells of up to 6th level.



In order to harness the power of runes, runecasters pay a price - their voice. Instead of a voice, a non-illuminating script shows up as language over their heads - an interesting concept indeed and a nice fluffy instance - and yes, vocal components can still be cast, the component showing up in a similar way. An interesting unique display for their power. They start the game with one first level word spell per day and knowledge of all target words and the boost meta word as well as knowledge of 1st level effects or meta-words equal to 2+Int mod and may add one effect or meta word every level to his/her formula book. New words may also be learned as per the normal rules.



As a kind of analogue to the mutagens, runecasters may paint runes on their flesh starting at first level - a process taking 1 hour. Activating a rune (only one can be maintained at any time) is a standard action and while under the effects, the runecaster gets +2 natural armor and +4 to one physical attribute of the runecaster's choosing for 10 minutes per class level, but also incurring a penalty of -2 to the corresponding mental attribute - i.e. Int for str, cha for con etc.



As those traditionally tasked with securing holds, runecasters may also create so-called wards. Painting such a ward takes a full round action and up to class level + int mod runes may be active at a given time, each lasting runecaster level minutes or until discharged. The damage of their 5-foot burst being based on 1d6 + int-mod, scaling up to a whopping 10d6 at level 19. And it is this ability that has been massively revised, now thankfully sporting a daily limit as well as a more concise wording that takes the time it takes to disarm these into account - two thumbs up! Oh yes, the disarm-DC now scales



Especially since that's not everything wards can do: Starting at 2nd level and every two levels after that, the runecaster gets a so-called ancient secret, i.e. one of 40 (!!!) different talents - all of which also come with a handy table to give you an overview - commendable! And these do allow you to make some interesting modifications: E.g. you may exclude one of the basic creature types like "dragons", "monstrous humanoids" etc. to never trigger your wards, or via another one, exclusively be triggered by a type - which makes for nasty ideas for DMs. Wards may also be laced with elemental damage, add negative conditions like blindness and confusion etc. to their wards. Not all ancient secrets are based on wards, though +4 counterspelling word-spells is also possible, as is making a word spell of up to 3rd level permanent. They may also increase wordpsells cast from scrolls to their casterlevel, fortify their bodies via fleshrunes, create a fleshrune that boosts your mental attributes at the cost of your physical abilities etc. They may also learn to heal limited amounts of damage each day via touches (which, when retained, automatically heals the runecaster when s/he is dropped as a nice type of contingency) or do something rather unique:



It is no secret that I LOVE Purple Duck Games and Rite Publishing's Legendary Items/Legacy Items, i.e. powerful items that get levels with your character, and some abilities of the runecaster allow you to interact with these items to e.g. ignore a part of such an items prerequisites to wield. I should also mention that thankfully the more powerful options require either other secrets or minimum level prerequisites.



The class may also choose from 6 awesome capstones that allow the class to forge artifacts, become immortal or increase e.g. Int by 2, get fast healing 5 etc. - nice. The class also comes with a sample NPC at 1st level and 2 feast - one to increase the number of wards you can have simultaneously active and one netting you an additional ancient secret. In a superb example of 3pp camaraderie and support, the favored class options are a thing of beauty: Beyond even core races, ARG races and PDG's races, we also get e.g. favored class options for e.g. Alluria Publishing's Remarkable Races. And better yet - these favored class options are actually distinct and imho balanced.



The second new class featured herein is fluff-wise slightly tied to the orcs, would be the Runereavers, a barbarian-variant that gets full BAB-progression, d12, 4+Int skills per level, proficiency with martial and simple weapons as well as shields (except tower shields) and light and medium armor as well as good fort-saves. In the first round of battle, these fighters get a bonus to damage that starts at +1d6 and scales up to +1d12. They also get +1 dodge bonus to armor and +1 to intimidate when not wearing armor and scale these bonuses up by +1 for every six levels after the third and a second ability that nets them natural armor +1 when not wearing armor at level 7, +1 for every three levels after that. (Improved) Uncanny Doge can also be found among the class abilities, as can gaining character level+con-mod SR at 11th level. But what are the signature abilities?



Bloodrunes. At first level, he gets one, then at 2nd level again and every two levels after that. Activating blood runes is an immediate action that does not provoke AoOs. Runereapers get str-mod rune points and each activation of a bloodrune costs one such rune point. Now where things get interesting is in the fact that they do not replenish as usual via rest, but only via the defeating of foes -what constitutes " defeating" being subject (THANKFULLY!) to DM-judgment (No, you can't spar with your friends and have them take a dive!), but usually involving beating foes below 0 hp or sending them fleeing in panic. Unless I've miscounted, we get 36 different bloodrunes to choose from -



From enhancing single damage rolls to ignoring object hardness when sundering, rerolling failed fortitude saves or ridding yourself of exhaustion or fatigue up to using a rune to make a foe entering your square provoke an AoO - whether or not said adversary would usually provoke such an attack. Definitely interesting abilities, somewhat in line with the gunslinger's grit - a truly interesting take on the mook-mower that should make for an interesting playing experience. The capstone is okay - the runereaper always moves first and gets a standard action every time s/he defeats a foe.



Beyond the class, we also get a sample level 1 NPC, a feat for +1 bloodrune power, one for +2 rune points and once again - a HUGE, massive and impressive list of favored class options for just about any race you could ever desire.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good in the revised edition -while not perfect, I did notice no significant ambiguities anymore, just some minor typos. Layout adheres to a 2-column standard that is printer-friendly and comes with nice full color artworks. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.



Author Josh McCrowell has taken one damn complex (and arguably suboptimal) mechanic with the Words of Power-system - and it works. Approaching the system as one component of the class instead of its defining feature means that they actually work - so kudos for that. With the wards now working as they should, the class now actually makes me contemplate introducing these fellows in my game.

The Runereaver in contrast takes an interesting take on a barbarian-style melee-class with distinct mechanics. The rules-language of this class has been cleared up as well.



Purple Duck Games has vastly improved the original pdf and taken care of the rough edges, resulting in an improved experience for all using this pdf - while not yet perfect, I can know recommend this supplement as a good purchase, especially for all fans of words of power - my final verdict for the revised edition will hence clock in at 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Legendary Classes: Rune Magic
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Purple Duck Storeroom: Gels (PWYW)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/04/2013 04:42:42
An Endzeitgeist.com review

The second installment of Purple Duck Games' "Pay what you want"-supplements of small pdfs is 12 pages long, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 9 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



So what are gels? Gels are engineered lifeforms akin to oozes that follow the following formula: A base creature is required for the creation of a gel and additional creatures may be broken down via alchemical processes to cancel the requirement for permanency-spells. They also require essential components as well as required spells (each of which can be ignored for +2 to the creation-DC), a cost and of course a creator level and alchemy-DC.



A total of 3 different sample gels are provided - CR 5 Aerogels, CR 4 Embalming Gels and CR 4 Taxidermy Gels. The creatures are interesting with their abilities and while I'm usually not a big fan of amorphous creatures, I do like them.



The pdf also comes with information on nutritive fluid and the creation thereof.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to a one-column standard more akin to what you'd see in a regular paperback book, allowing you to fit up to 4 pages on one sheet of paper. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.



Perry Fehr has created a cool creature type here and gels per se rock and have quite some potential, but there's one thing lacking from this offering: Guidelines to create your own gels. The creation formula is awesome, but why are there no guidelines to determine attributes, skills, special qualities etc.? The process of actually crafting gels as a DM is curiously absent from this pdf, limiting unduly the oomph you get out of this. That being said, this is a "Pay what you want"-pdf and for that, it deserves some slack. Thus, my final verdict will clock in at 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Purple Duck Storeroom: Gels (PWYW)
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CE 2 - The Black Goat
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/28/2013 10:13:59
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This mini-module is 12 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 10 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



This being a review of a mini-module, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.



All right, still here?



The Pass of the Black Goat is home to two weird types of humanoids - the fox-like Pellas Troth and the elephant-eared Mahmat Troth - which are mortal enemies, though they both worship the same concept, Silence, under the auspice of the mysterious, sphinx-like and utterly silent black goat.



Attuned to silence, the Mahmat Troth can hear those approaching from a mile away and only open the gates guarding their pass for groups of 20 or less - and after that, audiences with the Goat are possible, though not easy to get. As complicating factors, the Pellas Troth exist - as is the option for the Black Goat to potentially be REALLY interested in a particular PC. As a powerful spellcaster, the Goat can also work as a patron and thus comes with her own invoke patron checks-table and the taint-progression slowly turns the character into a creature akin to the Black Goat - and potentially suitable as a partner.



Beyond that, we get a table of spellburn for the Black Goat as a patron, advice on getting more out of this area and a one-level complex depiction of the silence servants of the goat may evoke. The pdf also comes with .tif player-friendly maps and a .jpg version of the map.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to PDG's two-column, b/w-standard and the b/w-artworks are nice, the maps serviceable. The pdf comes fully bookmarked.



Author Daniel J. Bishop has a gift for creating areas and modules breathing a sense of antiquity, of old sword & sorcery panache and this is no different - the canyon, with its weird inhabitants can be anything from obstacle to hostile to the base of a massive conflict between two seemingly inconsolable people - whether just as a waypoint or as a full-blown adventure-locale, this supplement delivers an intriguing, interesting place that oozes a fresh sense of the weird and alien. My only gripe would be, that when compared to CE 1, it offers a tad bit less weirdness, but this is me nitpicking at an insanely high level. My final verdict will hence clock in at 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CE 2 - The Black Goat
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Random Encounters Remastered: World's Edge and Beyond
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/24/2013 02:54:40
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This pdf is 36 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 3 pages of SRD, leaving us with 31 pages of content - quite a massive bunch!



It's been a long time since David Nicholas Ross (the mastermind behind my favorite PFRPG-class EVER in Legendary Classes: Covenant Magic, btw.!) has graced us with an installment of his ridiculously useful Random Encounters Remastered-series. Originally spanning 3 pdfs, this series is essentially devoted to providing a DM a way to create random encounters depending on terrain-type: Essentially, you get basic terrain-features and a table of appropriate clues. And a MASSIVE table of encounters - with usually about 400 -500 entries. You choose a CR, multiply it by 20 and then add a d% for an appropriate encounter for your group's level range.



Of course, encounters do not need to be combat-only and hence, dispositions are included to modify the creatures - from being on the run to looking for a fight, CR-modifications galore are provided. Speaking of CR-modifications: Every DM knows that terrain is important (if you didn't - it is!): Fighting spiders in a tunnel is ok. Fighting spiders while crawling on all 4s through a tunnel is something the players will remember -and that huge chasm just made things more interesting. Hence, these random encounters also come with a massive array of different terrain features to add to your random encounters - and said features contain slopes as well as planar vortexes, coming with all the CR-modification and rules-information you'd require.



Oh, and since we're going to the realms beyond, what about three deadly fey traps oozing iconicity - spanning CR 13 to CR 18, these high-level threats codify some of the iconic, sadistic things fey do in myth into Pathfinder-rules language - the Lost Time Trap ranking among the most sadistic I've seen in a while.



Of course by now you'll want to know what terrain-types are covered - so there you go: We venture into an Abyssal Rift (also appropriate for Slumbering Tsar, btw.!), into Beshadowed Woods (Margreve meets planar threats and things from the stars), settle down (and immediately regret this decision) in an elemental oasis, traverse misty moors and historic battlefields and finally visit a summer otherworld that could be home to the summer court. All of these not only come with their own massive tables for encounters, but also with their own disposition tables.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to PDG's 2-column, printer-friendly standard and the pdf comes with appropriate b/w-artworks. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.



Okay, let's get one thing out of the way right now - ignore the humble, unassuming cover. This series is a godsend. Seriously. It takes a bit of time to get how it works, but as soon as you do, this series starts pulling its weight. These pdfs are not meant to only be read, they demand to be used - and after some time since the original 3 have been released, I can say that they WORK. Exceedingly well. The crowning achievement of this series is essentially that it makes any wilderness encounter NOT feel random - they feel like they belong into the respective module. And there are scarcely pdfs out there I've used this much and to this efficiency - this is a great toolkit.



I did complain about some of the older installments in the series regarding a lack of "weirdness" - well, the weirdness is here - while not pervading everything and remaining appropriate for a variety of environments, the tables this time around come with this peculiar edge of originality one cannot help but enjoy. Furthermore, neither the author nor Purple Duck Games have stopped in their tracks - since the original 3 pdfs, the release of the Bestiary 3 and NPC Codex have changed the game - and have been included in these tables. Not so that you won't get any use out of this product when not owning either, but enough so to put a smile on your face for the support if you do.



The one thing this installment has left me with would then be a desire - for a collection of all of the pdfs, the old ones updated and in print: And for more installments. Do yourself a favor and get this collection of extremely useful toolkits and enhance your random encounters so they no longer feel like a waste of time - and if I may, dressing-wise, Raging Swan Press Wilderness Dressing-series constitutes great complimentary pdfs to this pdf's offerings. My final verdict? Unsurprising 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Random Encounters Remastered: World's Edge and Beyond
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Purple Duck Storeroom: Exotic Liquors (PWYW)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/03/2013 03:44:54
This pdf is 12 pages long, 1 page front cover, 2 pages SRD, leaving us with 9 pages of content, so let's take a look!



Concept-wise, this is the first of a collection of pdfs focused on tight subjects - this time, framed by short narratives, we are introduced to dwarven fire ale and elven absinthe - and boiy, they are cool: Fireale e.g. affects you with rage for a couple of rounds and thereafter nets you a cold resistance for its consumption. And beyond its effect, these liquors also feature a drawback for their consumption and a short line on their actual taste - neat! Beyond these, we also get racial/national liquors - catfolk nihp nets you a 10% chance per minute to get access of a detect-spell, but at the cost of 1d2 dex and darkvision: Interesting, but it fails to specify whether there's a level-cap for the detect-spell or not.



Fetchling rainbrew may be actually rather hazardous - you can accidentally breathe color sprays when ingesting it. Ratfolk-drink, healing Tengu Baju, an Urisk-brew that temporarily nets access to a limited form of bardic performance. There also is an Erkunae-drink as well as some that are local specialties that net you some cool insights into the world of Porphyra - e.g. 3 magical whiskeys of the lands of the Fenian Triarchy.



We also get information on diluted spirits and creating magically-infused liquors.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly one-column standard - which means that you can probably fit up to 4 pages on a given page if you print it out - I would have preferred a more standard layout. The pdf comes fully bookmarked.



I really love the idea of these liquors and their execution and fluff per se is nice indeed - but what's not so great is that the pdf fails to specify, when applicable, the caster-level of the spell-like effects the respective liquors entail. That being said, this pdf is "Pay What You Want" - you can pay as much as you'd like for these liquors and they indeed are worth a look. While not perfect, it is a nice offering and thus worth 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Purple Duck Storeroom: Exotic Liquors (PWYW)
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Purple Duck Storeroom: Exotic Liquors (PWYW)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/09/2013 10:05:26
Are you bored with every tavern you enter offering you ale and whiskey, with maybe some wine or mead if you are lucky?

Try these pages, some thirteen carefully-crafted fantasy beverages for your characters to enjoy (if they can find them) as they rest from the day's adventuring. Some are indeed quite rare, and could prove a different and unusual reason for a quest... even if your characters are not too fussy about their alcohol, connoisseurs will pay handsomely to have a particular delicacy delivered to their table.

You might want to change some of the names, though. Written down, they look reasonable but provoke some giggles when read aloud. Aside for that, they provide some interesting thoughts and perhaps even insights as to how different fantasy races enjoy their leisure...

Each one comes with all the information you need... and maybe some your characters don't want to hear like the chance of getting addicted to a particular drink! There's also the cost, the effects of drinking it, and some best-quality wine taster style 'flavour notes' as well as a bit of descriptive text to give you some background.

Remember to drink responsibly, and not to drink and dungeoneer!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CE 1 - The Falcate Idol
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/09/2013 03:31:18
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This first installment of the Campaign Elements-series is 15 pages long, 1 page front cover, ~1.5 pages SRD, leaving us with12.5 pages of content, so let's take a look!



The first thing you'll notice about this mini-supplement is the level range - this one can be run for 2-8 level 2 characters, 1-2 level 3 characters or a level 4 solo thief. That out of the way, this is an adventure-review and thus contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.



Still here? All right! After a short background/introduction, we kick off this pdf with one conan-esque quest - infiltrate a hidden temple of the Harrower, a strange, spider-like god. While the creatures in here are susceptible to lawful or neutral turning are penalized by -1d (and even further closer to the sanctum) and spider-affine spells can be increased in their power or have unforeseen consequences based on a table of 1d7+luck with 9 entries.

While the default assumes no service by the cultists in progress, advice to include them for a bigger challenge is included, as is a 2d5-table of treasures found, a 1d5 table of unique items. The complex per se contains 10 areas and challenge-wise, the dead famous thieves in the beginning should hint at some dangers to come - offering blood to get past guardians, finding a holy book of the harrower (which contains written tenets and hints!), fighting deadly crab-like beasts with sticky filaments called Moon Reapers -worse, these beings may cause personality damage with their filaments, turning into the dread guardians of this place - disturbing indeed!



Oh, and there is the fungoid-looking spider-like thing that is this place's grand guardian - and an idol of the Harrower with a tempting emerald. And whoever steals the emerald, will, as in the classic sword & sorcery trope, be hunted by the dread idol - which is almost indestructible and slow, but relentless: Adventure-seeds galore waiting there, especially since the thing is fully statted. 222 HP. That's all I'm saying. Oh, and have I mentioned the chance to fight the personified Anger of the Harrower, which curses the area with VERY bad luck...



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly two-column standard with iconic b/w-artworks included and the cartography is serviceable, though nothing to write home about. We don't get player-friendly maps, which remains the module's only true flaw.



Seriously, I'm fast becoming a fan of Daniel J. Bishop - the author GETS what makes magic feel magical, what can evoke a sense of disturbing antiquity and what makes the Sword & Sorcery-genre work -and this is no exception: A glorious little module for a more than fair price oozing flair, panache and disturbing imagery - my final verdict will clock in at 5 stars EDIT: Now, with seal of approval since a player-friendly map has been added.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CE 1 - The Falcate Idol
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B1 - Return of the Rat Cult (Labyrinth Lord)
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/09/2013 03:26:15
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This mini-adventure for the Labyrinth Lord old-school system is 9 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 1/3 of a page, leaving 6 2/3 of a page content.



This being an adventure-review for a module spanning the levels 2 -3, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.



The town Felton was infested with the Rat Cult - and in the aftermath, the militia has been decimated to the point where it can't offer significant resistance. Townsfolk have disappeared and the PCs are tasked to rescue the missing villagers.



The PCs may ask around town and do some research, though the clock is ticking: The time of sacrifice is approaching fast and unless the PCs can find the Rat Cult's temple in the sewers fast enough. The complex of the Rat Cult is essentially a straightforward dungeon crawl with numerous twisting, empty passages to disorient PCs. The opposition including cultists (employing relatively smart strategies) and even a wererat. There also is a puzzle to be found - but one of the worst kind - there's no way for the PCs to glean the puzzle's solution apart from brute-forcing it - that's just bad design and a pity regarding the per se nice basic idea.



We also get 3 new magic items.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to PDG's printer-friendly two-column standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. The b/w-artworks are nice and the map of the complex is serviceable, but nothing to write home about. EDIT: Player-friendly map has been added.



If I hadn't read it, I wouldn't have believed that this module was crafted by Perry Fehr. Unlike other offerings I've read by him, this module just feels so utterly...generic. Yes, there is a nice terrain-feature here and there, but overall, this offering feels so. Bland. Sewer-themed dungeon with rats? Okay. Seen before. But the thing is - the execution simply fails to elicit excitement. You've quite possibly read a module in this vein before - and there's nothing wrong with that, but it also means that for me, this falls short. Add the inability to solve the one cool idea, the puzzle, in any other way than brute-forcing it, and we arrive at a final verdict of 2.5 stars, rounded down to 2 for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
B1 - Return of the Rat Cult (Labyrinth Lord)
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CE 4 - The Seven Deadly Skills of Sir Amoral the Misbegotten
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/06/2013 11:47:02
In keeping with the 'Campaign Elements' series, this product provides a location and some reasons for going there. Like many, it has the potential to be an enduring location in your campaign, with characters wishing to return at a later date.

The concept is simple. It's a ruin of a castle deep in the forest. It is home to the ghost of a competent fighter who when alive kept his martial secrets to himself but since his demise is now willing to teach... but only those he deems worthy of his instruction. That is one reason why characters might wish to visit the place, although other reasons are also provided.

The layout of the ruined castle is provided as are a remarkable number of monsters - the reason for these will become apparent to inquisitive members of the party. There are notes on running this adventure, which includes characters being required to engage in single combat (always a bit tricky - what do other characters do?) as well as suggests for other uses for the material presented. Maybe an NPC has been here and uses one of the specific and unusual martial skills taught. Or the monsters turn up elsewhere...

It's a neat package with plenty of potential... as well as a good stand-alone piece to drop into a campaign at a convenient moment, to be run without need of extensive preparation time.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CE 4 - The Seven Deadly Skills of Sir Amoral the Misbegotten
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CE 3 - The Folk of Osmon
by Mikko O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/01/2013 08:08:07
"An adventure for Dungeon Crawl Classics characters across multiple levels." -From the blurb.

So, we get the cover, OGL, and 12 pages. Inside those 12 pages we’ll get a map of the Mire of Osmon (380' x 400'), color version of the picture on the cover, another picture which shows one of the five new types of creatures, four encounters/short adventures that you can use as they are or expand them, two charts, information about the Folk of Osmon, different locations and the general area, and more.

The book is divided into the following sections:

Introduction: See the blurb.

Background: See the blurb.

Using This Location: Suggestions about how to insert the Mire of Osmon into your campaign.

The Folk of Osmon: Stats and background for new human subrace and there are stats for different types of the Folk later in the book.

Osmon: New deity.

Other Hazardous Creatures: Three new types of creatures (HDs range from 1hp to 6d10+12).

General Features: Natural hazard common for swamps.

Random Encounters: Chart with results for night and day time combat encounters, and the author suggests that you’ll expand the encounter chart and add non-combat encounters.

Encounter Areas: Five different types of locations within the Mire of Osmon.

Scenario One: A Love Story

Scenario Two: Bandits of the Swamplands

Scenario Three: Hidden Gold

Scenario Four: The Ritual of Osmon

Squeezing It Dry: Suggestions about why characters would want to revisit the area, and hooks for different adventures.

OGL


I’m very happy that I bought this and I’m going to check out rest of the Campaign Elements and I'll have to give this extra points for the suggestion that you could use this with the Purple Sorcerer Game's adventures, what's exactly what I'm going to do.

5/5 Stars: Very happy.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CE 3 - The Folk of Osmon
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Purple Mountain IV: The Magmadome
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/15/2013 03:47:52
An Endzeitgeist.com review

The fourth installment of PDG's old-school dungeon Purple Mountain is 38 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 34 pages of content, so let's take a look!



This being an adventure-module, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players may wish to jump to the conclusion.



Still here? All right! Level 4 of Purple Mountain is a hostile environment - but unlike any fire-level you'd expect. Yes, there is magma. There are efreets and magma elementals (with class levels and archetypes!) - but the level has a massive catch that immediately stands out among comparable fire-themed dungeons: As soon as the PCs enter the level, they'll get an invitation (also as a player's handout!) that invites them to a kind of ceremony/game - throughout the level, scrying disks are located at numerous locations that serve as a focus for the elemental audience to survey PC-progress - and the progress of the other combatants that scour the dungeon's level, actively hunting for the PCs: Think of it as a kind of extraplanar reality TV-show akin to Running Man, intended to choose a second in command for the elemental warlord Scorcher. And yes, the monster-choice is rather interesting and not limited to the standard elemental creatures you'd expect.



What really rocks, though, is that apart from a significant amount of different comments to spring on the PCs (or give warnings to them or their foes!), terrain-peculiarities abound and should make sure that interesting areas add their spice to your battles. Most of the level requires care while navigating and if you stop, you risk slowly sinking into magma, taking increasingly painful amounts of damage - two thumbs up for the great execution there!

Unlike regular dungeons, stealthily taking the dungeon room by room is hard to pull off, with scrying disks making resting VERY difficult and announcers, at the DM's discretion, ratting out both the PCs and their foes, resulting in a surprisingly action-packed, intriguing set-up for the level - one that will actually feel distinct and different! Speaking of which, just to give you an example - what about a magma elemental martial artist monk, ever seen something like that before? Yeah, that's exactly what I meant with "interesting builds"! We also get a neat new monster, the firewisp, and collected stats of all the monsters.

The appendices feature 7 uncommon spells, a write-up of elemental lords, a full write up of the religion of elemental god Drothos, the Magma Exarch and neat tables that display all the treasure to be found and all the XP to be gotten on the level, as well as a player friendly version of the map and high-res jpgs with and without labels for use with VTTs.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to PDG's relatively printer-friendly 2-column standard and the full color original pieces of artworks are surprisingly well-made - neat indeed! Furthermore, the pdf comes fully bookmarked and the cartography is nice, though nothing too special What's cool is the d20pfrsd.com-hyperlinking - the good kind, mind you - the one that only hyperlinks the relevant rules instead of each mentioning of a given word. two thumbs up!

Surprise. Honestly - I read "Magmadome" and thought "lame fire-level". Oh boy was I wrong. Beyond smart and intriguing terrain-features, this level's basic idea is unique, cool and will make the level feel VERY unique, offering a superb means for the DM to make his players feel like gladiators and easily keep up the pressure - or take it off them. The set-up as well as the relatively cool builds for the foes, the nice traps and overall concise feeling of the level are what ultimately sells this to me - where level 3 was a panoply of interesting cultures and practices, this one is fast, furious and definitely an action-packed experience - Authors Ken Austin and David Pryzbyla did an awesome job well worth 5 stars +s seal of approval - Purple Mountain is shaping up to one awesome mega-dungeon!

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Purple Mountain IV: The Magmadome
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TOME: A Whale of the Problem
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/11/2013 02:46:08
An Endzeitgeist.com review

The second installment of PDG’s TOME-series is 7 pages long, 1/2 page editorial,1 ¾ pages of SRD, leaving us with 5 ¾ pages of content, so let’s check this out!



In case you’re not in the know, this series provides us with complex encounters using unusual creatures – everything required to run the encounter is provided herein, though. As essentially either a throw away encounter of skeletal from to craft a full-blown adventure from, the product handles much like an adventure and thus this review contains SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion.



Still here? All right. Set per default on Whale Island in the setting of Porphyra, the premise of this encounter is uncommon, to say the least: Whale Island is a known hunting ground – for sky whales. Yes. For flying whales. And much like regular whales, there is a dedicated amount of people hunting these creatures, namely in this case, the Twilight Fleet. The Pcs are hired (with a significant lump of gold!) to deal with a particular Abia, a CR 13 sea-serpent-like being that has been destroying their vessels. The issue is – the thing’s intelligent and considered a guardian by the local populace and not particularly malicious. So why is it suddenly attacking?

Well, turns out the sky whalers have killed creatures in the sea and the serpentine guardian took offense – whether by diplomacy or other ways, this conflict can be resolved in various ways. Dead sailors reviving as brine zombies (both sailors and brine zombies coming with statblocks) and similar complications can be added at the DM’s discretion and apart from the Abia, we also get a CR 7 fetchling corsair-statblock, which uses 4WFG’s Corsair-class that is currently being revised) as well as the racial traits of Porphyra’s fetchlings. Finally, the pdf offers us the Mariner’s Shield you may know from the awesome “Items of Power and Ambition”.



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 pdf comes with nice b/w and color artworks. In spite of the brevity of the encounter-supplement, it comes fully bookmarked, which is awesome.



Author Mark Gedak has created nice encounter set-up, though a VERY weird one – sky whales and an actual industry based on hunting them are introduced in the encounter and honestly, at least for me, that severely hampers the plug-and-play appeal of the encounter. I do like its weirdness, but for many campaigns, that might be a bit much – the changes to your setting necessitated by this are a major downside in my book and honestly – the unscrupulous whalers-angle, even with a twist, is not that innovative and when compared to the first TOME-installment, feels less easily being integrated into one’s campaign – also due to the massive reward the PCs can score. All in all hence a solid encounter, but not a perfect one. My final verdict will thus be 3 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
TOME: A Whale of the Problem
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