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Racial Ecologies: Living Dolls
by mike k. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/02/2014 10:55:48
Just got this last night... I am always on the look out for something to help get my kids into roleplaying... well if living toys don't do it .I don't know what will.. my girls are big fans of toy soldiers,toystory, plucker,coraline..etc... I think they will really like this... as stated before the only real problem is healing and bringing them back from the dead unless you have a hot line to the Blue Fairy... but we can work around that...
So when the lil princess gets kidnapped there is noone to save her but her best friends...her toys...

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Racial Ecologies: Living Dolls
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Standard Stock Art: Issue 8 - Assorted Items, Vol. 1
by John D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/29/2014 11:24:04
Great artwork in a convenient format, which we were very happy to use as spot art in publications.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Standard Stock Art: Issue 8 - Assorted Items, Vol. 1
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Racial Ecologies: Living Dolls
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/25/2014 16:18:00
Racial Ecologies: Living Dolls is a fun source book, while they do not necessarily have a place in all campaign, there are enough options here that a GM should be able to find a way to use one if they want. Equally a short “all toys” campaign would be rather fun using these rules. While there are a few odd bits and one important oversight in the rules proved, overall it is a strong, if niche, addition to the races available for Pathfinder.

Racial Ecologies: Living Dolls is a new “race” for Pathfinder and an unusual one, not a race of flesh and blood but a constructed race animated by magic of various sorts, toys by a child’s love, dolls by dark magic, or other combinations.

Wooden toys, marionettes, stuffed animals, porcelain dolls and cloth dolls are all variants built off of the same basic rules. They are “constructed” which means that they suffer the limitation of a construct (no healing, cannot be raised), along with vulnerability to fire, with only some of the advantages, gaining bonuses against disease, poison and similar effects which leads to some potentially odd situations (how does a blood disease manifest on a bloodless being or a nerve toxin punish a creature without nerves?). Each Living Doll is further customized with four Construction Points which can be used to buy an animation type (Child’s Love, Dark Arts, Lost Soul or Magic Surge are the choices, all of which imply intriguing back stories) or other minor abilities based on construction or origin.

To further support the new race there are: nine new feats, all building nicely off of the established themes. Seven racial traits, including the amusing Shift the Blame, which gives bonuses for doing exactly that. Five new items, all toys used as weapons, knucklebones and marbles to impede your foes, rubber balls as thrown weapons (which probably should do non-lethal damage), wooden swords and the probably too effective yo-yo (and certainly too heavy, a five-pound yo-yo?) and three new magic items. Four archetypes, mother bear (barbarian), toy soldier (fighter), possessed doll (oracle) and voodoo doll (witch) are presented along with rocking horse, an archetype/template for the animal companion of a living doll, complete the product.

The one thing that needed to be addressed for the living dolls to really work in a campaign is, how do they “heal”? By their description they “cannot be healed through normal, divine healing or channeled energy.” The repair object rules do not apply very well so it would have been nice to have had this addressed in the rules rather than forcing a GM to solve it on their own. Apart from that, Living Dolls is an excellent addition to the options available for Pathfinder races.

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

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

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Racial Ecologies: Living Dolls
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CLASSifieds: Centaurian (Cavalier Archetype)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/14/2014 04:28:44
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the CLASSifieds-series is 6 pages long, 1 page front cover/SRD, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 4 pages of content, so what is this about?



The centaurian archetype replaces ride with knowledge (nature) and does not gain proficiency with heavy armor. Instead of challenge, the centaurian receives the so-called Tauric Shape - essentially a wild-shape variant, choosing a lower torso of a quadruped one size larger than the character. This increases size category by one step, but avoids the weapon-size debacle by simply also granting the undersized weapons creature ability of the centaur. The cavalier also gets a +2 bonus to Str and a +10 ft enhancement to base land speed. Equipment worn on lower torso and feet melds with the form or shows up in pouches, ready to be used. While in this form, cavaliers may wield lances one-handed and deal double damage with lances when charging as if mounted. This is a polymorph effect that lasts 1 minute per level (probably should be class level). At 3rd level and every 3 levels after that, the centaurian can assume this form an additional time per day. While personally, I just would have made it possible to shapechange in increments of 1 minute, but nothing wrong here.



In lieu of a mount, centaurians may 3+cha-mod times per day, as a swift action command allies to grant them a +2 morale bonus to attack rolls against ALL foes the centaurian can perceive. Yeah...this one's too strong. No range? This is arguably better than bardic performance and since the only limit is being able to perceive foes, makes the cavalier very strong in open warfare. Not strong enough to make me yell broken, but too far on the power-scale for my tastes. This increases to also providing +2 to damage and a +1 dodge bonus to AC at 4th level...so yeah.



At 3rd level, instead of cavalier's charge, the centaurian is treated as if having the mounted combat feat and gains the benefits of aforementioned ability while in tauric form. At 5th level, centaurians may, as a swift action con-mod times per day, gain the benefits of a haste-spell for 1 round per 2 levels (which, again, should be CLASS levels) - as an extraordinary ability. No suppression. After the burst of speed, a centaurian takes a -1 penalty to atk and AC and a -10 ft penalty to speed. However, I should note that this ability is NOT restricted to tauric shape as written...not sure whether that's intentional.



At 12th level, the centaurian's bonus to str in tauric shape increases a further +2 and they may initiate an overrun attempt sans AoO at +2 when hitting a target as part of a charge. Weird here - I *assume* this only works in tauric shape, but as written, a base-form centaurian could overrun smaller creatures with this just as well when not transformed. At 14th level, merely initiating a charge may make enemies that fail their save shaken. This extends to all enemies that can perceive you (again: very powerful in open warfare); More interesting - the ability fails to note that it is a fear-inducing effect, which becomes relevant for paladins et al.



We also are introduced to a new cavalier order, the order of the centaur (good, since the centaurian doesn't get the challenge of other orders)...ähhh...wait. This order also provides a challenge. Whenever using a move action when moving 10 feet or more, the cavalier gets a +1 dodge bonus to AC against the target of the challenge for one round. The bonus scales. Okay, though you have to bear in mind that the centaurian doesn't get this challenge! The order also reduces the AC-penalty when charging. At 8th level, 1/day when hit by an attack, the cavalier may make an acrobatics-check to negate the damage - NOT a fan of skill versus incoming attack. I've discussed in length before why I consider skill versus atk-roll problematic and I don't like repeating myself over and over, so yeah.



We also are introduced to 4 new feats:

-Tauric Mount: Carry allies into battle as if a mount, use tactician to grant them temporarily mounted combat or archery.



-Improved Tauric Mount: Allies may make full attacks after a charge while riding you. See, this becomes problematic - I assume the player character riding can only make one attack after charging sans this feat if s/he's delayed/readied an action, but I'm not sure. The feat's text could be read to imply that the rider gets the full attack in addition to the one they could potentially execute after your charge in their initiative order. Usually, the mount in mounted combat is subsumed under the rider and relegated to mostly moving/minor attacks. Here, with one player taking control of the mount and the other being the rider, things get more complex since a mount usually acts at a rider's initiative score. This problem also extends to the regular tauric mount feat, but becomes more pronounced here.



-Tauric Weapons: These gain you 2 primary natural weapons at 1d4 bludgeoning or slashing while in tauric form.



-Tauric Pounce: Make a full attack at the end of a charge, but only with your natural weapons. Urgh. Pounce is evil. The restriction keeps this somewhat in check, but I'm positive, that this can hurt in the hands of the right player.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are good; while I've noticed some minor glitches in the rules-language, nothing too serious did crop up. Layout adheres to Fat Goblin Games' elegant 2-column greyish/brown-standard and is a joy to behold. The color cover artwork is nice to see as well. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.



Tyler Beck's Centaurian is a cool archetype indeed, allowing you to play a centaur without the size-issues/ladder-climbing etc. - and its mechanical execution is mostly solid. Regarding the archetype, my mayor complaints boil down to the lack of range limitations regarding their buffing capability and another issue: Weight. Does the centaurian's size-increase also increase weight? If so, by how much? I *assume* standard guidelines here, but I'm not sure and when traversing brittle bridges or galloping over a recently frozen river, that becomes relevant. Another issue I have would be with carrying capacity -quadrupeds can carry A LOT more than bipeds, so doe carrying capacity increase while in tauric shape?



Now let's be honest, these points are essentially nitpicks, but with the supplemental information, things get a bit...ugly. The new order is fine, if nothing special...but why not create an order specifically for centaurs/centaurians? The archetype eats challenge and similar abilities all up, so some customization would have been nice here, especially for the poor cavalier who already the shortest possible end of that stick. Now where things turn ugly is with the feats to carry allies into battle. Sounds easy, right? Well... it's not. Mounted combat is already not too simple with the mount doing the move actions and the rider acting. When taking two players AND providing feats that mix up the action economy, the wording better be extremely precise. here, it's not -as written, they just don't work...at all.



So, how to rate this, then? All in all, we get a neat archetype with nice ideas and Tyler beck once again shows that he is a promising designer. But on the downside, this could have used an expert rules-editing to make the feat work, a clearer distinction re class/character levels for many abilities etc. This does not make this pdf bad, but it precludes it from reaching the higher echelons of my ratings. Hence, I'll settle for a final verdict of 3.5 stars, rounded down to 3 for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
CLASSifieds: Centaurian (Cavalier Archetype)
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The 11th Hour [PFRPG adventure]
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/29/2014 08:08:05
Originally posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2014/04/29/tabletop-review-the-11t-
h-hour-pathfinder/

Contrary to what you might think, The 11th Hour is not based off of the old Trilobyte sequel to The Seventh Guest. It’s actually got more in common with the old Bill Murray film Groundhog Day. I have to admit, from the name and cover, I WAS expecting a horror adventure, but what I ended up getting was a pleasant surprise.

The 11th Hour is an adventure for 1st Level characters. There is no mention of what size party the adventure is made for, but in truth, it doesn’t need one. The adventure can work just as well as a solo piece as it would for a party the size of a Dungeon Crawl Classics 0 Level game. How is that possible? Well, the adventure is pretty much combat free, and the players will be using their wits instead of flexing their muscles for the entirety of the affair. I say “pretty much,” because gamers being gamers, their characters could just go on a mad killing spree, murdering every NPC involved in the adventure as an attempt to “solve” things. Every so often you get a player or a full group with that thought process, so just a heads up that even though the adventure does its best to present a fun and challenging mystery for neophyte characters, someone may decide to go stab-happy.

Like many an adventure, The 11th Hour starts in a local inn/tavern. However, that’s as close to the usual tropes as the adventure gets. Once inside, the players will soon discover that they are stuck in a time loop, repeating the same hour over and over again. What’s more, the PCs are the only ones that seem to notice the loop is happening, while everyone else in the tavern are blissfully unaware, continuing to take the same actions they did before unless interrupted. It is up to the PCs to figure out why the loop is happening and how to stop it.

What’s more, The 11th Hour is designed to be played in real time, so that pace of the adventure flows with real world time. Adventures that are able to pull this off well are rare, but The 11th Hour does a great job. Perhaps not as well as Bride of the Black Manse, but that adventure is four hours long, while The 11th Hour has you repeating the same hour over and over until players figure it out. While the adventure is well written, the fact it is “only” an hour long means the DM needs to be very prepared to pull this off. The 11th Hour may be a great adventure to run for beginning and veteran players alike, but it really does need a highly experienced DM to keep track of everything, or the adventure will fall apart. All you need to do is miss one or two time cues and things can go bad.

The adventure is as hard or as easy as your players make it. They do have to pay attention to details, and this is a rare Pathfinder adventure, as role-playing takes precedence over roll-playing, but overthinking can make The 11th Hour harder than it should be. So far I’ve seen players go through it several times with the real world pacing throwing them off, and I’ve also seen a team get the adventure right on the first try thanks to having a Druid in the party. It all just depends on how used to non-combat adventures your gaming pals are and how quickly they adjust to playing an adventure in real time instead of a ten second battle taking an hour to play out.

All in all, The 11th Hour is a great adventure. It’s a nice change of pace from the hack and slash fare that most Pathfinder adventures (especially third party released) end up being. The PDF purchase price of five dollars might seem a bit much for only nineteen pages, but it is in full color, has some great art and also includes three maps for players and the DM to use. I really liked how outside the box The 11th Hour was. I wish more companies that produced content for Pathfinder would do adventures like this instead of the same old dungeon crawl hack and slash experience. If you’re looking for a breath of fresh air to give new life to Pathfinder, you should seriously consider The 11th Hour. It’s not for everyone, but the uniqueness of the adventure makes it a great way to introduce people to the mechanics of Pathfinder before overwhelming them with how intense combat can be.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The 11th Hour [PFRPG adventure]
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The Favored of Skexxiz [PFRPG adventure location]
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/14/2014 08:35:59
This is rather neat: a complete location, fully populated and replete with details and backstory, all ready for you to drop into a campaign and use as an adventure location. Although a few adventure ideas are given in case you don't have a ready reason for your party to go there, it isn't an adventure per se, it's a place in which adventure could happen and that adventure is up to you.

Basically it's a troglodyte lair, described in loving detail. The denizens all have their own lives, their own reasons for being here and their own plans and hopes for the future. This gives the feel of a location that's existing in your alternate reality irrespective of what the characters get up to, you get the feeling that the troglodytes will continue on their merry way even if the party never stops by at all. Yet if they do, it isn't a place that has sprung into existence just to provide them with a good brawl and something to loot, it's there already and they have just chosen to visit - something that serves to enhance the 'reality' of your campaign setting.

The whole place is well laid out and explained clearly, with 'read aloud' descriptions and all the information you need to manage events when the party arrives at each location. There's a good map - spread over two pages - and a new deity as well - and a deity who teaches that 'Anything stolen is rightfully yours if you are not seen taking it' has a certain appeal, possibly beyond troglodytes!

This is a nice resource to have, a traditional 'crawl ready to use whenever it fits in with the rest of your plots.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Favored of Skexxiz [PFRPG adventure location]
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d20pfsrd.com presents Open Gaming Monthly #1
by Thomas C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/11/2014 10:52:52
Very cool magazine. I’m not sure that it’s being published any longer as it looks like everything stopped as issue# 5. I had heard that they might move to a quarterly format which would be nice.

Anyway, some nice stuff here in Issue #1. Ordered print version. Nice glossy cover, full color interior. Articles are nice with excellent materials for GM’s (mini-adventures, drop in locations, new race ‘Briarborn’, fully statted monsters). Do like the BadWrongFun addition- haven’t seen home rules for d20 done before in-print, so this is a nice addition. Overall, a pleasant read.

Not cons, but what I’d like to see in future issues: a comic or two. Interviews with writers, developers and publishers. Reviews of other OGL pubs (splat books, modules, etc). Perhaps an online pub as well with audio podcasts and video interviews. Again, just ideas on what I think would be nice. Props to these guys for the awesome job they did in getting these 5 issues out! I know from personal experience how very difficult it is to pull this stuff together. Hopefully more to come.

Tom
-Dead Goblin Games

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
d20pfsrd.com presents Open Gaming Monthly #1
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Racial Ecologies: The Canids
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/31/2014 04:31:35
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Racial Ecology-series is 17 pages long, 1 page editorial/front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 15 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?



Canids are, surprise, canine humanoids that usually, much like man's best friend, accompany other races - their communities usually exist in a kind of symbiosis with specific other humanoid cultures. Hard racial-trait-wise, they get +2 to Str and Cha, -2 to Int, low-light vision, scent, a 1d4 bite attack as primary weapon (or secondary weapon when wielding arms), get +1 to Bluff, Diplomacy and Sense Motive with their associated race (I assume a racial bonus, but the pdf doesn't say), +2 to perception and survival, can run on all 4s when carrying nothing in their hands. This would net a +10 foot bonus to movement for run, charge or withdraw actions. They can only do so while having medium load or less - and I assume they don't get a quadruped's usual bonus to encumbrance. To reflect their racial diversity, they can pick one alternate racial trait or a racial trait of 2RP or less and they do thankfully have some limitations applied to the selection. Still, I'm not 100% comfortable with this variety - why? Because the race is well-balanced on the upper echelon of the power-scale sans these and the ARG's system is notoriously broken.



On the alternate racial trait-front, we get to choose from 3 different ones - Bully build nest you the slow but steady racial trait and replaces the quadruped sprinting, whereas aforementioned diversity can be offset with a whopping +4 to CDM versus bull rush, trip, pull and drag. Finally, there are small canids that get, apart from their size-modifiers, +4 to stealth. We also get 5 race traits that allow you to run longer, drag something better (not the maneuver, the feat of strength), improved disguising, 1/day +2 to flanking and adaption to cold climates make for compelling race traits that manage to be useful without being overpowered and also offer a nice bit of fluff each - kudos for getting these right!



On the favored class option-front, all of the Paizo-classes (minus variants like ninja/samurai, but including the gunslinger) are covered with sensible options. Oh, and thankfully we get FULL AGE, HEIGHT & WEIGHT-tables, 6 entries for various physiques - neato! Also cool - a short lore-table is included!



We also get 6 new feats - improving bite attacks by one step and later, vicious bite allows you to chose to make your canid benefit from improved grapple when biting or gain the trip option. Finally, the third feat in the bite-chain allows you to inflict bleed damage or thrash bitten adversaries - the latter has a hick-up in the rules-vocabulary, when it allows you to either deal bonus damage or inflict the "shaken effect" - which should be "condition". Also, the pdf fails to specify for how long the shaken condition lasts. Improved overland hustling is also a neat idea, as does the idea fit that canids may follow tracks at normal speed. The feat does have a hick-up, when it specifies that it allows them to follow tracks at twice their normal speed at -20 - one can already do that sans the feat. I assume, the penalty was supposed to decrease, but whatever the correct new number, it's not in here. "Scent the Impossible" on the other hand is rather awesome - not only does it improve the option to track by scent, it allows the Canid to be particularly familiar with specific scents - these can then be picked up even in olfactory nightmares and overpopulated places - a great idea, also regarding storytelling.



We also get 5 new mundane pieces of equipment - from dog whistles to muzzles, extra teeth, a weight harness and even a neck barrel. Among the two new magical items, we get a silence-inducing, damaging dog-whistle and a breath weapon granting hell hound tooth that may enhance a canid's bite.



Now Canids are diversified and hence we get no less than 13 different variants, all with their own racial qualities:, ancestry, suggested starting languages and fluff

Ratters get +2 Dex and Cha, -2 Int, +1 to CMD/CMB (+2 when surprised, flatfooted or prone) and while small, they still get a movement rate of 30 feet. Wardens get +2 Str and Wis, -2 Cha, +2 to resist fear and demoralize effects and aforementioned grounded racial trait. Hunters get +2 Str and Wis, -2 Int, Hunt on the Run as a bonus feat and +2 to perception related to smell/scent. Dwarven Bullys get +2 Str and Wis, -2 to Dex, must take the bully-build racial trait and replace low-light vision with darkvision. I assume the default 60 ft. range for darkvision, but the pdf does not specify. Elven Hounds get -2 to STr, +2 to Dex and Int get a flat-out ovement-rate of 40 feet (and don't get faster when going on all 4s - which is weird) and +1 to reflex saves and initiative. Goblin Curs get +2 to Dex and Wis, -2 to Str, are small, cause allergic reactions in non-goblinoids and get +1 to atk and damage versus other canids and dogs. Gnomish ratters get +2 to Dex and Cha, - 2 to Int, are small and get hatred versus reptilian and goblinoid adversaries. Hafling Borzoi get +2 Dex and Wis, -2 Int, Hunt on the Run as a bonus feat, exchange scent for 40 foot movement rate and +4 to see through nonmagical disguises.

Drow Demon Dogs get +2 Str and Cha, -2 Int, darkvision and replace their quadruped ability with a base-speed of 40 feet - again, somewhat weird that the offshoot is not faster on all fours. They also get +1 to intimidate and +2 to saves versus disease, though they do pay the relative power with losing more basic canid racial traits. Kobold Warren Dogs get +2 Con and Cha, -2 Str, are small and still have a movement rate of 30 ft and replace low-light vision with darkvision (again not specifying the range). Orc War Mastiffs get +2 Str and Wis, -2 Cha, replace low-light vision with darkvision (this time the 60 foot range is included) and they also get ferocity, but pay for that with losing access to racial diversity and light sensitivity. Painted dogs get +2 Str and Cha, -2 Int, hatred versus Gnolls and hyena-like creatures and +4 AC versus Gnolls. Finally, the small Xolo get +2 Dex and Wis, -2 Cha and these hairless dogs are under a constant endure elements spell-like ability (that does not specify an effective level and is not properly italicized) and may woodland stride in familiar jungles.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are okay - there are a couple of formatting glitches, which partially make the respective crunch slightly less clear than they ought to be. Layout adheres to a drop-dead-gorgeous 2-column full-color standard and the original pieces of full color artwork are simply awesome. This is one beautiful pdf. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. The pdf lacks bookmarks, which is an unpleasant comfort-detriment.



Author Nick Esposito has created an interesting race, slightly on the upper end of the power-scale, but not by much. While the racial diversity utilizing the broken ARG can be potentially problematic, per se the variants feel well-balanced and diverse, if admittedly not all of them are brilliant - more weird breeds with unique abilities like the Xolo or the Goblin Cur's allergies would have elevated this pdf further. Per se we get a solid race that has a lot, but in practice is haunted by quite an array of typos and minor glitches. The rules-language, while for the most part non-ambiguous, features several flubs like lacking durations for conditions, calling conditions effects etc. - nothing big per se, but they do accumulate over time to a point where they stand out and show that a tighter editing would have helped this pdf. Beyond that and the missing bookmarks, there is not much to complain about - as presented, this pdf's Canids are definitely useable and per se a relatively nice, if not always inspired race. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 3.5 stars, rounded down to 3 for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Racial Ecologies: The Canids
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Mindblast! - Classic Monsters Augmented (PFRPG-Psionics))
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/16/2014 11:56:38
It's an interesting idea, that if you want to use psionics in your game, every creature might become psionically active. Or at least, have the chance to, just as some sentients will be but most will not.

So, if that takes your fancy, here are a whole bunch of well-known familiar monsters retooled to have psionic abilities as well as teeth and claws and whatever. The neat thing is, they are not just the monster you already know with psionics tacked on, read through the descriptive text and you will find that they have become quite different creatures, subtly twisted to become something else entirely. Use the original non-psionic version as well and really catch the party out!

There's a quick psionic primer, but if you are not familiar with the underlying concepts you may be a bit lost: Read 'Psionics Unleashed' by Dreamscarred Press to get the full picture.

A lot of the monsters are evil, and those who are not are generally neutral, like the Cat Psionic (thought all cats were a bit that way inclined anyway) or the Crystal Eater, a remote cousin of a Rust Monster which scoffs crystal rather than ruins metal. The Golden-Eyed Owlbear is more intelligent than the mundane version, unfortunately it may be smarter but it is no less vicious and bad-tempered. And as for the Red... it is a psionic hobgoblin, and a really nasty piece of work.

Each creature comes with a picture as well as full stat block and descriptive text. The picture of the Golden-Eyed Owlbear is particularly beautiful, with fur and feathers blending in a realistic manner.

An appendix contains psionic feats and powers for those wanting to explore some new ones. Plenty of scope for confusing, dominating or plain scaring your enemies there.

Overall a nice collection that is plausible within the context of psionics having developed within your campaign world, rather than having arrived from elsewhere. Well worth considering if you want to run a campaign that includes psionics as something that is around, generally available, embedded within the fabric of your alternate reality rather than an alien force imported in to it.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mindblast! - Classic Monsters Augmented (PFRPG-Psionics))
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Enhanced Racial Guide: Bhriota
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/22/2014 09:53:14
Deeply embedded in the lore of the Shadows over Vathak setting, the bhriota are beastial and savage hominids, most of whom are irredeemably evil... not promising stock at all. They are tribal, with shamans who lead them in worship of the Old Ones and most view weakness of any kind as shameful. Those few who show any shreds of compassion generally find it politic to leave their tribal homes and seek their fortune elsewhere... becoming the small number of bhriota adventurers.

Full rules mechanical details are given for those who wish to play a bhriota. Large (often over 7' tall), with bonuses to strength and constitution and to Intimidate - due to their racial reputation - they present an interesting alternative to a pure barbarian character, and one which is embedded into the Shadows of Vathak setting. Those who do seek the adventuring lifestyle can follow most careers, often flavouring the chosen class with aspects of their tribal background - for example bhriota bards generally drum and recount tales from bhriota dark oral history. Many racial traits are available, mirroring different aspects of tribal custom and nature.

Next comes a collection of racial archetypes. The insane assailant is a barbarian archetype, whilst the savage huntsman is a ranger one. An esoteric binder is a strange summoner archetype and there is a witch doctor one based on the witch.... one with a penchant for pain and suffering. Other racial feats and campaign racial traits follow.

Bhriota also practise rune magic, and this is explained in detail. There are eight known rules than can be mastered, and although their effects are magical, runic lore may be studied by any class of character. Once a rune is mastered, a process that involves study and often a quest, it may be inscribed on an object permanently or 'improvised' on the fly to access the inherent powers associated with it. As well as the runes themselves, there are several associated feats.

Next comes a prestige class, the bhriota shaman, who employs curses, shamanistic dances, and herbal medicine and remedies to accomplish his ends. Their method of cursing is interesting. To gain the effect of a bestow curse spell, the shaman enacts a ritual naming the target and drives a nail into a special 'curse board' - and unlike the spell, this can target anyone known to the shaman who is on the same plane of existance... never mind having to touch them! Some other shamanistic powers are accessed by dancing, thus making it a quite unusual and spectacular class.

Bhriota equipment, weapons and magic items follow, and then there is a discussion of known tribes and their identifying characteristics... and their own specific tribal traits which may be taken by members of that tribe alone.

If you are using the Shadows of Vathak setting, this is a well-integrated race that will enhance your game. If you do not, but would like a savage and strange race to populate some dark corner of your world, this is a well-considered one that could prove an interesting challenge.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Enhanced Racial Guide: Bhriota
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NPC Arsenal No. 4: Kitsune Mistress of Manipulation
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/15/2014 04:51:25
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This new series by Abandoned Arts offers you one NPC-build, a complex one - 3 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 1 page character, so what do we get here?



The Kitsune Mistress of Manipulation at CR 7 is a straight level 8 sorceress of the Maestro bloodline - and at first sight, as an enchantment-specialist, that seems not particularly impressive complexity-wise. Where this build shines is in the small moving parts - from racial traits to feats, the character is thoroughly geared towards being a master-spy if there ever was one; With 4th level-spells at DC 23,a hat of disguise, a total of +45 to disguise and smart feat-choices that make this possible in the first place, this mistress should be considered an exceedingly good at evading/setting up PCs. Add to that the fact that the build is relatively neutral and you could either have a superb benefactor or deadly manipulator - in any way, she is guaranteed to be one of the top brass in any given social situation - though in combat exceedingly vulnerable and fleeing won't be an option, lacking any movement-related skills or thieving capabilities.



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to a landscape two-column standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.



This kitsune is a master manipulator and top-brass in her given field, yes. However, as an agent/courtier, I don't think she works quite as well as she could, mostly due to not having any tricks beyond great disguises/social skills/enchantments. No stealth, no sleight of hand - as written, she is a great social manipulator, but not as cool/versatile an agent as she could have been. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 4 stars - a good, but VERY specialized build.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
NPC Arsenal No. 4: Kitsune Mistress of Manipulation
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Racial Ecologies: Guide to Feyborn
by Thomas C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/09/2014 20:44:04
This was a really well-thought out supplement and professionally done. The dice-roll for fae traits was fun. Really an amazing find for 2.00.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Racial Ecologies: Guide to Feyborn
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Class Acts: Monks
by Nick S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/03/2014 09:55:54
I've picked up one or two other Class Acts before and enjoyed them quiet a bit but I'm sorry to report CA:Monks fell well short short of my expectations from others other PDFs. The feats presented here at the same dull monk feats you get pretty much everywhere else. Like most bad monk feat they are overly narrow and don't really evoke any sort of different feel from your standard fighter feats giving you a slight buff to one specific attack. They are not particularly exciting or imaginative, they don't offer very much in the way of new options and they don't even offer particularly strong buffs for the power gamer. Further since many of them have a lot of requirements they are not even the sort of feats you can take up casually but need to fully commit to the exclusion of other feats, as such I'm sad to say I'll likely never use any of these feats. While normally class acts are a steal at a dollar with CA: Monks I don't feel I got my money's worth.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Class Acts: Monks
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NPC Arsenal No. 3: Mercenary Pikeman
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/03/2014 03:07:11
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This new series by Abandoned Arts offers you one NPC-build, a complex one - 3 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 1 page character, so what do we get here?



This time around, we get a human polearm master fighter 9 at CR 8 - finally some love for the poor, underutilized polearms! The mercenary fights with a glaive-guisarme and when pictured, should remind you of how fighting against Kilik (or any other long-range character) can annoy the hell out of you in Soul Calibur: With improved readied actions and pushing assault as well as vital strike, running against the readied actions of this guy will prove painful indeed. The extensive notes on further leveling the build and tactics of this NPC add more value, showing (gleefully so), how utterly evil this build can be in melee, with potions helping against some of the character's weaknesses.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to a landscape two-column standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.



A more than solid build centered on just being a polearm master, AoOs and readied actions, this build may not be the most complex one, but it is a fun build; One that should definitely make some PCs gnash their teeth. Now it's not a particularly complex build, but it's versatile and mobile enough to make for a fun NPC - taking the low price into account, I'll settle for a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5: A very good, if not exceptional build.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
NPC Arsenal No. 3: Mercenary Pikeman
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NPC Arsenal No. 2: Troll Witchdoctor
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/22/2014 03:08:03
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This new series by Abandoned Arts offers you one NPC-build, a complex one - 3 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 1 page character, so what do we get here?



Well, we get a beastmorph alchemist 6/Gravewalker Witch 2 Troll for a CR of 12! Troll physical prowess plus beastform mutagen + buffing + enhanced spell/alchemy-empowered regenerative properties supplemented by smart item-choices make this one memorable BEAST of a character! Add to that a smart spell-selection that allows for the purchase of time for the buffing suite and the information on build and tactical notes provided should guarantee that your PCs will NOT forget ending on the business end of this shaman's longspear (or bite!). And yes, he can fight until -47 HP and has a good chance to negate crits - I can see players crying "WHY WON'T HE DIE!!!"



Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to a landscape two-column standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.



OMG - THIS, ladies and gentlemen, is a prime example of a damn cool, smart build -memorable, deadly, versatile and thoughtful, this creature is GOLD. Ever wanted to go Resident Evil: Nemesis on your players? Yeah, this one's pretty close - and gloriously so! The Aasimar was neat, this troll is glorious: 5 stars + seal of approval and well worth the fair asking price!

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
NPC Arsenal No. 2: Troll Witchdoctor
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