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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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[PFRPG] Player's Options: Half-Orcs
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/29/2013 02:53:17
An Endzeitgeist.com review

The penultimate (as far as I know) part of the race-centric Player's Options-pdfs is 13 pages long, 1 page editorial (cover is a separate .jpg), 1 page SRD, leaving us with 11 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



The first variant race we get is the orc-kith - a being with some blood of orcs in their lineage, but not enough to make them half-orcs. They get +2 to an ability of their choice, normal speed, darkvision, +1 to intimidate and diplomacy, skill focus as a bonus feat, count as orcs for respective effects and get orc ferocity. *drumroll* NOTHING TO COMPLAIN! In fact, I really like these! I'll introduce them into my game! Nice job!



The second racial variant are the sharukh - spawn bred from orcs and dwarves and most likely not from consensual intercourse. Crunch-wise, they get +2 to Str and Wis, -2 to Cha, get 20 ft. movement and no armor penalties to movement, darkvision 60 ft. and when reduced to below 1/4 HP and without conscious allies around, they get +2 to atk and AC, +1 to Knowledge (dungeoneering) and Survival made underground and count as both orcs and dwarves. And surprise - I like this one as well! I REALLY like this one as well! Again: Two thumbs up - also thanks to the height and weight table.



Next up are 18 new feats - and they are actually interesting, essentially introducing a class of feats called "storm" feats - they have in common that they work in the first round of combat/surprise round, adding damage to your attacks as you wade into combat: Whether dealing +1d4 damage, gaining additional attacks at -5 to atk, daze foes for one round etc. A cool idea that carries with it the idea of the orcs crushing into melee - especially with the chance to reposition foes. Offsetting cha-penalties (but no chance for retries) and capitalizing on exotic allure are also fitting and while not brilliant in their execution, can serve to make uncommon character concepts viable. And then there are the ferocity feats - and these are imho what racial feats should be about: Enhancing racial abilities. Take e.g. ferocious maneuver - while ferocity is active, you do not provoke AoOs for bull rush, disarm, steal, sunder and trip attempts. Awesome! Also extremely cool: Grit your tusks - when raging and failing a save, you regain 1 round of rage, up to your daily maximum and only once per round, limiting what could have been overpowered and turning it into awesomeness. Have I mentioned the goblinoid/orc-centric leadership variant herein that could easily serve as a template for any number of evil leadership feats? Seriously - these feats are actually intriguing, smart and varied - two thumbs up!



6 new flaws, in the established awesome quality of the series are also part of the deal - and while I personally abject to masochism being portrayed as a flaw, I won't hold that against the pdf since the execution of the flaws per se is neat - whether black lungs or cannibalism, the drawbacks are interesting indeed.



Finally, we get gear - a new slaver's whip, orc iron jaws, an arena mask, kits for seeming human and scarification and liberation jewelry that denotes you're no longer a slave - interesting for e.g. Andorans...



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to 4WFG's two column b/w-standard with some beautiful full color artworks. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Designer Josh McCrowell has done a great job here - I actually consider both races balanced and well-crafted and love what he has done with the classes of feats - resulting in the by far best supplement in the series so far, offering well-crafted, interesting options for half-orcs and definitely enhancements to your game - my final verdict hence will clock in at enthusiastic 5 stars + seal of approval. Congrats to the author and PDG/4WFG!

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
[PFRPG] Player's Options: Half-Orcs
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[PFRPG] Player's Options: Half-Elves
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/26/2013 09:54:20
This is a quite interesting, if a bit random, collection of thoughts, game mechanics and useful items on the topic of the Half-Elf... well worth a look if you play one, or if you GM them.

It starts with a discourse on the dissociation half-elves feel. Based on the wildly-differing life-spans of their human and elven parents, many come from broken homes and even when parents stay together their halfbreed children never quite seem to live up to expectation... naturally causing difficulty for both parents and children alike.

We then read of two particular types of half-elf, complete with full game mechanical information for those wishing to play them. These are the Strandlings, children of aquatic elves and land-living humans (or land-living elves and merfolk), and Wellens, the result when two half-elves have children. Wellens are particularly interesting because they do not feel so much at odds with the rest of the world as most half-breeds.

Next comes a collection of feats designed with half-elves in mind. Take care, several need to be taken when the character is created (such as Ancestral Understanding), but they are an interesting array, seeking to highlight the particular uniqueness of half-elves.

If you use Player's Options: Flaws there are some new ones for half-elf characters to consider, mostly ones highlighting that dissociation caused by being neither human nor elven. Played with care, these could prove impetus for potent role-playing (or could end up in self-indulgent wallowing, don't go overboard!).

Finally, there are a few new items of equipment designed for or by half-elves. Interestingly, there are some weapons developed out of a half-elvish response to outsiders assuming that half-elves have the same natural proficiencies as elves! These should be fun to experiment with...

A nice collection, highlighting the distinctive traits of half-elves - not the best of both elf and human, perhaps, but interesting in their own right.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
[PFRPG] Player's Options: Half-Elves
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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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CE 2 - The Black Goat
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/04/2013 10:40:56
This is a neat little resource with the potential to become a recurring feature of your campaign world. Picture a simple community in a high mountain pass, clustered around a potent oracle... just saying that spawns concepts of somewhere your characters might want to visit, perhaps for advice... or of course they might just need to get to the other side of the mountains, and will need to negotiate their way past those who dwell in the pass.

The inhabitants are well detailed and the actual pass itself mapped out, making any encounter you choose to run very easy. Moreover, there are TWO tribes involved, the humanoids living here and another group dwelling nearby, both of whom have scope for development as recurring groups in your adventures.

The oracle herself - The Black Goat - is an interesting personage in her own right and someone who has the potential to become a Patron for an appropriate character if so wished. Even getting to see her, let alone getting a favourable outcome to a request, is quite a challenge and could prove a good adventure in its own right.

Plenty here to do and see, and to come back to again and again.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CE 2 - The Black Goat
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[M&M] Deus ex Historica: Polkovnik Oktober
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/03/2013 10:59:05
An interesting one, this - not really a super-villain at all... for one, he has no super-powers. Moreover, he's not a 'villain' in the strict sense of the word, although nationalistic super-heroes may find themselves in opposition to him as he is a loyal communist spy in the service of the Soviet Union.

Being firmly rooted in communist-era USSR however, unless your game is set during the Cold War you will have to decide what such a loyal communist did once the Iron Curtain came down. You may choose to have him remaining loyal to his ideals and seeking out those who wish to reestablish communism, or he may become a 'freelance' spy operating for hire. (Remember MICE - the basic reasons for anyone to become a spy: Money, Ideals, Country and Excitement!)

The background presents Polkovnik Oktober as an athletic close-combat expert with disguise skills, good at both unarmed combat and gun-play. He is a competent assassin but can lose control of himself and tends to be confrontational rather than subtle. It's not very clear where - if? - he'd fit in to a non-espionage based standard supers game.

His costume is not clear, either - vague references to a red hood and military-style garb coupled with a greyscale sketch. If you know classical Russian military uniforms, you might imagine a variant of a gymnasterka (shirt-tunic) and breeches with jack boots - a style that was dropped in the 1960s, but fits in well with his somewhat antique views on the merits of communism!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
[M&M] Deus ex Historica: Polkovnik Oktober
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[M&M] Deus ex Historica: Plutonium Man
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/03/2013 10:31:40
Plutonium Man sums up the fascination/fear engendered by radioactivity in the 1950s... cast definitely as a villain, he can be played as a tragic victim of circumstance or as a cold vicious seeker of revenge on a society that abandoned him. Read the backstory and decide for yourself which way he will go in your campaign.

Like many supervillians there is little information about what he does when not engaged in super-villainous activities.

Both background and game statistics are presented clearly, and there is a nice - albeit black and white - illustration of Plutonium Man in his costume... although you are left to figure out just why he has the number 94 on his shirt (hint: take a look at the periodic table!). Notes are provided for those who want him at a level other than the PL12 at which he is presented.

There is also a scenario idea using this character, but apart from vague references to a fondness for robbing banks there is no clear indication about his villainous activities let alone why he pursues them. If you want to use him for anything more than a one-shot you may wish to come up with some ideas of your own as to what his overall scheme and rationale may be.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
[M&M] Deus ex Historica: Plutonium Man
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[PFRPG] Player's Options: Gnomes
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/02/2013 03:35:14
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Player's Options-line is 12 pages long, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 10 pages of content, so let's take a look!



Following the format of the series, we kick this off with two new variant gnome races, first of which would be the Blood Gnomes - tainted by the blood of redcaps, they essentially are the gnomish equivalent for Tieflings - shunned and considered evil by most and stigmatized as well as rare. They get +2 to Dex and Wis, -2 to Cha, count as fey, are small and slow, get light-light vision, DR 5/cold iron, +2 to saves vs. illusions, take 5 penalty less to stealth when moving (and may run stealthily at -20), get +1 DC to necromancy-spells and Blood Gnomes with Wis of 11+ can cast bleed, chill touch, detect poison and touch of fatigue 1/day. They also gain proficiency with scythes in addition to the gnomish weapon proficiencies. While not horribly broken, the DR and unnecessary amount of spell-like abilities imho detract slightly from this race's balancing.



The second variant is also a tad bit sinister - the Shadow Gnomes (which would fit well with Jon Brazer Enterprise's Shadowsfall) are touched by the plane of shadow and hence get +2 to Dex and Int, -2 to Str, slow speed, darkvision 60 ft., light sensitivity, resistance 5 to electricity and cold, increase their miss-chance in dim light to 50%, always get Perception and Stealth as class skills and gain a bonus feat at 1st level, reduce the Stealth-penalty when moving by 5 and by 10 when sniping, +1 DC vs. shadow-spells and 1/day ghost sound, pass without a trace, ventriloquism. They also get familiarity with kukris in addition to gnomish familiarity. Honestly, this variant is also too high on the power-scale for my tastes - not by much, but the increased miss-chance combined with 2 class-skill and the improved stealth feels like too much when combined with the spell-like abilities. Also, this race is very much geared towards being rogues - a slightly more diverse focus would have been nice. Also, the spell-like abilities have not been italicized.



A total of 14 feats is up next: Among the feats, summoning monsters 1/day and gaining additional uses of their spell-like abilities are possible. Feats that net you +2 to saves versus illusions, +1 to initiative and one save of your choice, +1 to DC of your spell-like abilities, treating your craft and profession as two ranks higher for crafting purposes - you get the idea. Generally, these feats are highly specific and where the races are too strong, the feats generally are too weak. With one exception: One feat easily nets you Hide in Plain Sight (!!!) with a caveat that larger sized foes must watch you - even with this caveat imho broken.



Much like previous installments, the 6 new flaws are roleplaying gold and deliver plenty options to develop.4 gnomish items, from gnomish absinth and clockwork hurdy-gurdys to massage oil and toys are reprinted herein is well, making for more worthwhile content to round out the pdf.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting aren't perfect - especially the flawed italicization of spells/spell-like abilities hits a pet-peeve of mine. Layout adheres to 4WFG's two-column b/w-standard and the full-color artworks for the gnomes are nice, the b/w-illustrations for the items awesome. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.



This is by far not the worst of the installments in the series - Robert W. Thompson has delivered some cool concepts - though honestly, I still don't consider these alternate races balanced and the feats in this installment are uninspired filler - not in their cool fluff, but in their utterly forgettable crunch. The flaws and items are awesome, but make only up a fraction of the content - hence, I will once again settle for a final verdict of 3 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
[PFRPG] Player's Options: Gnomes
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AL 5: Stars in the Darkness [DCC]
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/24/2013 03:55:42
An Endzeitgeist.com review

The fifth module/adventure location for the Dungeon Crawl Classics-system, now released by Purple Duck Games and penned by Daniel J. Bishop, is 38 pages long, 1 page front cover, 2 pages SRD, 1/2 a page advertisement, leaving us with 34 1/2 pages of content, so let's take a look!



This being a review of an adventure-sandbox-locale, this review contains SPOILERS. Potential players will wish to jump to the conclusion.



All right, still here? The world is suffering - the pdf kicks off with a list of 30 different entries that align a lucky star to each birth augur - why? Because the skies are in turmoil. One by one, the lucky stars are vanishing from the skies - and the PC's luck is starting to suffer. In order to reclaim their luck, the PCs will have to undertake a journey into a conceptual space - think rabbit-hole, the transcendent journey throughout space and time into a space below the celestial tree, where a complex at the juncture of places and times not only holds the dread secret behind the disappearance of stars.



As the PCs may find out via visions and interactions, there once was a race of progenitors for elves, tasked with guarding and shepherding the stars - these winged beings have since degenerated, via the fell influence of a dread being as well as a vile drug - fully statted, of course. The PCs will have to combat the massive opposition awaiting them. Thankfully, they will have some support via a second, fully statted party that doubles as replacement characters - heroes from another world and time of the Praexi race - weird and alien, yet coincidentally speaking the same languages.



In order to truly liberate the stars that are being consumed, the PCs will have to brave bridges of the infinity of stars and defeat an indestructible dwarven incarnation of the true culprit - essentially a sentient black hole, complete with directional gravity that makes for one of the coolest show-downs I've seen in quite a while. The pdf also features full maps of the dungeon, both for GMs and player-friendly versions of the maps.



Conclusion:



Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to an elegant, printer-friendly 2-column b/w-standard with plenty of original pieces of b/w-artwork, with especially the depictions of the iconic locales being awesome and not something I expected in this product. The pdf unfortunately lacks bookmarks, which is imho a mayor comfort-detriment at this length.



Daniel J. Bishop has once again created a glorious supplement with iconic, weird and awesome foes, brimming with imaginative imagery - and were it not for the missing bookmarks, I'd immediately settle for a final verdict of 5 stars + seal of approval. Due to the lack of bookmarks, though, I'll omit my seal of approval and still recommend this wholeheartedly also for DMs of other systems, if only for idea-scavenging.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
AL 5: Stars in the Darkness [DCC]
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[PFRPG] Player's Options: Elves
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/16/2013 11:59:25
Elves... a standard fantasy race, those pointy ears are found everywhere - I've played enough of them. But here's a new twist or two, a few ideas for elves as other than flower-bestrewn, nature loving, musical and magical folks.

Variant races, or at least distinctive communities who may or may not be an actual different sub-race (we'll let the geneticists decide!). There's the necroms, who have become obsessed with longevity to the exclusion of everything else - including good taste, never mind ethics, to many people's opinions... although they rarely care what other people think of them anyway. Given their tendency to play it safe and avoid taking risks (well, in person, anyway), they might make an interesting NPC colony, although full details are provided should anyone want to play one.

Then there's the twistborn: elven shapeshifters who have become specialist spies and infiltrators. In their 'natural' form they are nowhere near as good-looking as most elves. They cannot interbreed with other races, being fertile only with elves and other twistborn, and are generally found in their target community or back with the elves. They generally become adventurers either when sent on a mission or for purely selfish reasons; and are often found doing their best to fit in and make themselves useful to the party they've joined. Definitely some potential there!

Several feats suitable for elves (any sort, not just necrons and twistborn) are presented, interesting ones include craftsmanship, enhanced lowlight vision (called moon runner), and ones involving their close bonds with nature and utilising their longevity to give them increased knowledge of lore... some nice stuff here.

If you are using Flaws - as introduced in Player's Options: Flaws - there are some elf-specific ones making good use of the stereotypes of elves: arrogant, disdain, laziness and even a sweet tooth! Finally there are notes on elven armour, equipment and item qualities to help you bring a slight air of otherness to the things that they make.

An interesting little collection, particularly if you enjoy the little quirks that make each race (or even sub-race) distinctive and different from each other.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
[PFRPG] Player's Options: Elves
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Stock Art: Wendigo
by steven r. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/14/2013 12:49:07
Mark Hyzer is an amazingly talented artist, who has worked for WoTC on MtG and draws some of the the creepiest monsters I know, always awesome. A full color pick like this would normally run someone $45+ at a minimum and to get it from somone like Mark for $3.00 is a steal. I ended up using this in 101 Not So Random Encounters: Winter and it fit perfectly.

Special Thanks to Mark Gedek of PDG for making this stock art line available.

Steven D. Russell
Rite Publishing

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Stock Art: Wendigo
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[PFRPG] GM's Options: NPCs 2: Druids, Fighters, and Monks
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/14/2013 11:22:17
Here is a collection of fully-developed NPCs to populate your world. There are two druids, two monks and two fighters, each presented at 1st, 5th and 10th level so hopefully they can fit in with your adventurers - as allies, adversaries, competitors, patrons.... whatever it is you happen to need a full-blown NPC of one of these classes for, but don't have time to create them for yourself.

Each NPC is presented in the same way. First there's his backstory, which tells you a bit about him, what he is like and how he behaves. Then come the traits selected for him (if you use the traits system from the Advanced Players' Guide, if you do not they are split out here so that they are easy to leave out!) and a note 'On Porphyra' - this is a campaign world being developed by 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming and Purple Duck Games, and again can be left out if you are not using it, as it generally ties the NPC to specific locations or events there.

Next comes complete stat blocks for that character at each of 1st, 5th and 10th level. Finally there's a head and shoulders sketch. The sketches are surrounded by text and the character notes are split over several pages and not separated so if you want to show the sketch to your players or just carry the details you need rather than the whole product to your game, you will have to do some selective printing and editing.

They are interesting well-rounded characters with a variety of races and backgrounds and tending to good or at least neutral alignments - no out-and-out villains here, although their interests could easily run contrary to those of the player-characters... often a much more interesting conflict as it can end up based on matters of opinion rather than stark right or wrong.

Useful to have around, against the need of appropriate characters when you don't have the time or inclination to create your own.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
[PFRPG] GM's Options: NPCs 2: Druids, Fighters, and Monks
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AL 4 - The Waystation (DCC)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/14/2013 10:47:31
Poking around deserted ancient dwarf complexes is standard dungeon crawl fare... but this one has a fascinating twist to it that ought to make players sit up and take notice.

The backstory presents the familiar ancient dwarf community amassing fabulous wealth, coming to grief when attacked and leaving mysterious remains behind... but these dwarves had invented the magical equivalent of the subway or underground railway, the remains of which survive to baffle present-day (in the campaign world) adventurers who stumble across it.

The means of ingress are pyramidal stele that dot the landscape and are, unbeknownst to all, ventilation shafts leading to the depths below. A few reasons, from mere curiosity to small creatures falling down them, are given for the characters to explore in the first place but once they do there is a well-detailed and fantastical world, copiously supplied with monsters (just because the dwarves are long gone doesn't mean the place is deserted) and quite a few treasures to loot... and the dwarves' patron deity is taking an interest.

Perhaps a short excursion or the gateway to more extensive underground adventures, this is a thoroughly entertaining 'crawl.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
AL 4 - The Waystation (DCC)
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Fehr's Ethnology: Dragonblood [PFRPG]
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/14/2013 09:21:01
The Dragonblood are a new race - even if it's a long-standing concept - which exists in Purple Duck's campaign world of The Land of Porphyra... and should you wish to play one, you will find everything that you need here.

We begin with a short piece of fiction that sets the scene of an individual almost haunted by an otherness, something that marks him out from everyone else; and as we read further we learn just how unusual dragonborn are. It is a little unclear just how they arise, although they apparently display traces of a draconic ancestor - just how that happened is a matter for genealogists, geneticists or the gossip columns! Be that as it may, dragonborn are found amongst humans and elves, occasionally half-orcs and very rarely in dwarf or halfling communities.

On to specifics: they tend to be tougher and more striking than other sentient beings, but maybe a bit headstrong as shown by the ability modifiers. Otherwise they vary little from the norm except for an affinity for magic, a naturally tough hide (which may show signs of scales) and the ability to withstand poisons. It's not clear if the dragonblood modifiers are to be applied 'cold' or if you first apply those of the racial stock that your dragonblood comes from and then apply the dragonblood ones. They tend to be imposing individuals, taller than the norm for their race with sharp features, distinctive eyes and large canine teeth - the sort of person who turns heads when they pass by.

Socially, they are often outcast or at least regarded askance. For a start, they are pretty uncommon - many folk haven't even heard of them - and sometimes they are mistaken for other hostile reptilian species. Even those who know what they are can be wary of them, never quite sure where their allegiances lie or what their powers might be. Racial traits and characteristics, and a selection of feats, follow, while the notes on attitudes and how they cope as members of and in dealings with the various classes give plenty of food for thought as to how to make them different - indeed, several plot ideas spawn for things that might happen to a dragonblooded should he come into my game!

An interesting race, a potent and fascinating concept, worth considering if you want something that little bit different - but, as always, work with your GM to ensure that a dragonblooded has a place in his game.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fehr's Ethnology: Dragonblood [PFRPG]
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